The Culture of Sudan
The culture of Sudan is a melting pot of different behaviors, beliefs and practices of some 570 tribes that are able to communicate with each other in about 145 languages. This mixture which bears the influences of many countries such as Egypt, the Arab world, and Europe, makes Sudan as one of the most diverse nations of the world ethnically and linguistically, and evidences itself in such cultural aspects as architecture, music, clothing, marriages and social stratification, among others.
The country’s architecture still reflects the people’s cultural and regional differences. The houses in the northern desert regions, for instance, are thick-walled mud structures having flat roofs, while in the south, the typical houses are the so-called ghotiya, which are round straw huts with conical roofs. Among the tribes, class and social status are determined by birth, with the iron workers belonging to the lowest rung in the ladder of society.
In music, some of the Sudanese people still use the Scottish bagpipe, a musical wind instrument introduced into the country by European military organizations, or still observe the kaambala, a musical harvest festival, which is part of the retained folk tradition of the Nuba culture between the north and south region.
The traditional attire widely worn by men especially in the villages is called jalabiya, a loose fitting dress with a large scarf, and thobe is a long shirt worn by women in many parts of the country. In the urban areas, the Sudanese have been used to wearing Western clothing.