From the Horse’s Mouth – Angola


Contributions by Inyene Udoyen
Facts you did not know about Angola (Angola is a southern African nation whose varied terrain encompasses tropical Atlantic beaches, a labyrinthine system of rivers and Sub-Saharan desert that extends across the border into Namibia. The country’s colonial history is reflected in its Portuguese-influenced cuisine and its landmarks including Fortaleza de São Miguel, built by the Portuguese in 1576 to defend the capital, Luanda.)

1. How are birthdays celebrated?
We celebrate birthdays by getting together for lunch or dinner. Very similar to the Mediterranean way of celebration.
‘Parabéns’ – Congratulations!

2. When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?
Men shake hands and Women and opposite sexes kiss once on both cheeks.

3. What languages are spoken in your country?
Predominantly Portuguese. Angola does, however, have 6 local languages and English and French are also spoken within the Oil Industry.

4. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?
We use the 24 hour clock.

5. What side of the road to people drive on?
We drive on the right-hand side of the road. Driving in Luanda: Watch

6. How important is punctuality?
This is very important to foreigners; locals, however, operate on African Time (TIA).

7. What types of music are popular?
Kizomba, Kuduro, Semba, and others. Some popular musicians are Mestre Dangue – Watch
Ary – Watch.
and Matias Damasio – Watch

8. Are there any Traditional Dances?
Kizomba is native to Angola. It is a genre of music with a romantic flow mixed with African rhythms. The Kizomba dancing style is also known to be very sensual – Watch
Kuduro is a type of music and dance developed in Angola in the 1980’s. It is described as uptempo, energetic and danceable – check this out – Watch

9. What traditional festivals are celebrated in your community?
Carnival is one of the biggest – Read this link to understand the celebration around Carnival.

10. What are your seasons like?
Very Mediterranean – Summer is also the rainy Season from Oct – March and Winter never drops below 18 degrees Celsius. July is the coldest and January the hottest.

11. Tell us an interesting fact about your President – Jose Eduardo dos Santos?
José Eduardo dos Santos (born 1942) was a leader of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the second president of Angola following independence in 1975. He guided the country from a Marxist to a democratic socialist form of government.
President Dos Santos (nickname “Zedu”) was one of Africa’s youngest when he became President at just 37 years of age in 1979.

12. What types of industry do you find other than oil?
Diamonds, Coffee, and Agriculture

13. How do people spend their free time?
Luanda has great night life and lovely beaches.

14. What do people drink?
Local beer – Cuca – and Portuguese wine.

15. What is a popular local dish?
Fish Calulu, or Calulu de Peixe, is a traditional recipe made in Angola and São Tomé e Príncipe for a signature fish stew which combines delicious vegetables cooked in red palm oil with okra and sweet potato leaves. Typically served with funje, a mashed potato like substance made from cassava flour. It is unbelievably rich in different flavours and spices, and is one of the most popular dishes in Angolan cuisine for good reason.

16. Security – in General?
Security is usually pretty good with upswings during the end of year holiday period, but currently there has been an increase in petty crime due to the worsening economic situation.

** Meaning: From the highest authority. From the source.
Origin: In horse racing circles tips on which horse is a likely winner circulate amongst punters. The most trusted authorities are considered to be those in closest touch with the recent form of the horse, that is, stable lads, trainers etc. The notional ‘from the horse’s mouth’ is supposed to indicate one step better than even that inner circle, that is, the horse itself