A Country Desperate for Peace

Sudan, which is a former English colony, is the sixteenth biggest country in the world with its area of 1,886,068 km2. Before South Sudan seperated from Sudan in 2011, it was 2,5 million km2. But after the seperation it lost the title of being the biggest of Africa to Algeria.

Ethnic and religious studies that have been going on for long years were always a problem between Sudan and South Sudan. The seperation period started with the South Sudan’s Autonomacy after the Second Sudan Civil War in January 9, 2005. At the end of this period, South Sudan declared its independency in 2011.

After the seperation, the borders has shaped again. On Sudan’s north is Egypt, on its northeast is the Red Sea, on its east is Ethiopia and Eritrea, on its south is South Sudan, on its west is Middle African Republic and Czad and on its northwest is Libya.

Its climate has been changing because it is located on a wide area. There are the desert climate and tropical climate prominent in the region. Raining season is between July and September on its north and between June and November on its south. You can come across sand storms called “Haboob” in dry season. Sometimes, the Sun cannot be seen because of the sand storms.

Even though Sudan had been a colony of England, its offical language is Arabic. When looked to the ethnic roots, Sudan Arabians comprise the half of the total population. 99% of Sudanese Arabians are Muslims. There are about 600 different ethnic groups in Sudan. The most interesting ones among them are Dinkas, Bejas, Nubas, Nubiyes, Hausas, Azandes, Beris, Furs, Fulanies, Masalites, Takalees and Tamas. Dinkas are the southern ethnic group and they are mostly Christians or their religious beliefs are local.

Sudan had not only been an English colony but also French and Italians established colonies here.

Sudan’s capital is Khartoum. The city center of Khartoum is the always- crowded Suud-ul Arabi Bazaar. Khartoum city was establihed on the intersection between the white Nile coming from Uganda and the blue Nile coming from Ethiopia. The Nile combines here and falls into the Mediterranean.

With the increasing oil revenue, Sudan has been developing day by day. That’s why it is like a dream country for entrepreneur businessmen. There is a problem in everthing in this country such as construction, textile and tourism. People live in quite difficult conditions. Average salary is between $100-$350. But it’s not a cheap country either, for example a kilo of tomatoes and potatoes is $2 and  one pomegranate is about $ 1,50.

People of Sudan are self-indulgent, so to say, lazy. The time is not the case for them, everthing works too slow and hefty. White collars start work at 8 and stop at 3. The shift ends at 12 at banks. They are so slow that it is said to be impossible to see a running Sudanese person. They don’t expect much from future. If you go to Sudan and tryst with a Sudanese, don’t forget this: If you tryst with a Sudanese at 10, he says “wait for me until 11. If I don’t come at 12 you go at 1.”

The other important fact is that there are men doing washing-up here. They are called “Gazal”, they do the laundry, ironing and hand out them. Sudanese women are happy about the laundry.

The white dress worn by men is called “cellabiye”. This dress is different from other Arabic countries, it shows African patterns on it. White textile that they wrap around their heads is about 5 meters. They wrap it up as a burial robe. As soon as you buy the textile, you can make cellabiye sewed by tailors.

Sudan houses are usually one-floor, like a cabin. Most roofs are edgy like a dome. Even if El Amarat region is Sudan’s most modern region, there are almost any traffic lights in country general. There are coffee shops everywhere and women work at them. Drinking alcohol is absolutely prohibited. It is not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages from the customs.

Sudan cuisine is like a mixture of English, French, Italian and ethnic cultures. Hospitality is also very important in Sudan. Sudanese slaughter a sheep for their well-esteemed guest to honour him/her. They cook quite delicious meals. The most consumable meat is sheep and chicken. Rice is a must on table. “Kisra” is a bread looks like an omelette, which is an important part of dinner. They consume vegetables as both raw and boiled. “Bamia” is made of okra and sheep meat and “Maschi” is made of beef and tomatoes. They both are quite popular.

Sudanese coffee is unique. You can never find such a taste in any country. Sudanese first roast coffee beans in a special pot. Then they give its aroma with different spices and carnation. Then, they serve it in small coffee cups after sifting.

And they have a national drink called “Kekrede”. But, of course, it is alcohol free.

Every Sudanese has breakfast with a food made of smashed English bean called “ful”. Generally in Arabic countries, it’s a tradition that serving sliced fruits as a dessert. But, Sudanese people love desserts. Alondside with the fruits, desserts are often consumed. Every Sudanese housewife knows how to make a Creme Caramela.

Sudanese first serve their guests Abre or Tabrihana which is an alcohol-free and fruity. The dinner is served on floor table, the guests sit on cushions made of ostrich feathers. First, everyone wash their hands with a copper water-can. The guests are given small towels. Then, they are given big textiles as napkins.

Because Sudan is hot in all seasons, you can come across with the ice cubes sold in streets. You can cut the case with something like a saw and take how much you want.

Sudan doesn’t get many visits as tourism along other African countries. But, in recent years, chaos in the country has ended with the independency of South Sudan. When compared to the past, it has become safer and it is expected that number of tourists increase in the next years.

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NURHAN YILMAZ

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NURHAN YILMAZ

1951 İstanbul doğumluyum. Yıl içinde dönüşümlü olarak Sinop, Bodrum ve İstanbul’da yaşamaktayım.Küçük yaşlarda babamın mesleği gereği, Türkiye’nin pek çok farklı şehirlerinde yaşadım.