Southern Africa

Botswana

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Before independence, Bechuanaland, named after the Tswana, or “Bechuana”, a dominant ethnic group, was a British protectorate. Although being one of the poorest and least-developed states in the world, since independence it has gained international stature as a peaceful and successful multi-party democracy. Indeed, Botswana is now one of Africa’s most stable countries, especially as it has grown into a middle-income nation thanks to the diamond trade. Furthermore, despite every ethnic group and tribe in Botswana having its own distinct culture, the country is joined together by a spreading feeling of a homogeneous national culture. While aspects of the different cultures have disappeared (such as most ritual ceremonies), others remain important (such as cattle ownership, music, and the consultation of traditional healers) and are celebrated every year in a commemorative festival called Botswana Culture Day. Poetry is considered one of the premier cultural arts in 21st century Botswana: the ancient oral tradition of myths and the unique praise poetry was recently transcribed and recorded to preserve it over the generations. One of the country’s symbols is the baobab tree: over the centuries, under these trees village elders discussed matters within rural life, which has been little affected by western culture and increasing modernity.

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Botswana

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Gaborone

After Botswana achieved independence from Britain in the mid-1960s, Gaborone became the new capital of the country. Other than having administrative experience, Gaborone had no tribal affiliation and was close to the railroad and to freshwater. ...

Southern Africa
Gaborone
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