Angola

Capital: Luanda, Population: 28,81M, Currency: Angolan Kwanza

History

Angola is the seventh-largest country in Africa and is bordered by Namibia to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Zambia to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to west. Angola was influenced by Portuguese colonisation, which began with, and was for centuries limited to, coastal settlements and trading posts established in the 16th century.

Independence was achieved in 1975 under a Marxist-Leninist one party state, backed by the Soviet Union and Cuba after a protracted anti-colonial struggle. However, the country soon descended into an even lengthier civil war that lasted until 2002. It has since become a relatively stable unitary presidential republic.

Angola has vast mineral and petroleum reserves, and its economy is among the fastest growing in the world, especially since the cessation of the civil war. A highly multi-ethnic country, Angola's 25.8 million people span various tribal groups, customs, and traditions. Angolan culture reflects centuries of Portuguese rule, namely in the predominance of the Portuguese language and the Catholic Church, combined with diverse indigenous influences.

João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço (born 5 March 1954) is an Angolan politician and current President of Angola since 26 September 2017.  Previously he was Minister of Defense from 2014 to 2017.

Culture

  • Angolan culture is African, predominantly Bantu, while Portuguese culture has had a significant impact, specifically in terms of language and religion

  • The music of Angola has been shaped both by wider musical trends and by the political history of the country. It has been described as a mix of Congolese, Portuguese, and Brazilian music, while Angolan music has also influenced the music of the other Lusophone countries.

  • Western-style clothing is common, though some people still wear traditional clothing. The villages remain more traditional, where women wear panos, African wraparound batik garments.

Language

  • Portuguese is the official language of the country.

  • Although the exact numbers of those fluent in Portuguese or who speak Portuguese as a first language are unknown, a 2012 study mentions that Portuguese is the first language of 39% of the population.[

  • The most widely spoken indigenous languages are Umbundu, Kimbundu and Kikongo, in that order.

Food

  • Breakfast consists of bread, eggs, and tea or coffee. Sometimes mothers may prepare a special breakfast treat of sweet rice (arroz doce).

  • Typical midday meals consist of a ball of manioc dough (cassava flour mixed with boiling water), with fish, chicken, or meat. People in the north and in the capital enjoy pounded cassava leaves (kisaka). Specialty dishes include mwamba de galinha, a palm-nut paste sauce in which chicken, spices, and peanut butter are cooked, creating a delightful aroma.

  • Angolans make use of their abundant fresh and saltwater fish. One dish, calulu , combines fresh and dried fish. A favorite dish among Angolans is cabidela, chicken’s blood eaten with rice and cassava dough.

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