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The Culture of Somalia

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Somalia's food Somalia food has influences of Arab, Italian, east African, Turkish, and Indian cuisines. Breakfast usually starts with a cup of tea. And is eaten with a pancake-like bread called “canjeero.” And for lunch, we often eat a meal that consists of either spiced pasta or rice and is eaten with meat and vegetables. A combined dish of spaghetti and rice is called “federation.” The rice and spaghetti are then served on a dish with stewed meat and vegetables. Arab influenced food like hummus, falafel, full (beans), etc. The sambusa(triangle-shaped patty) is a popular Somali snack. Cambuulo is made from beans, butter, and sugar. Halwa, gashaato (a coconut-based confectionery), lows iyo sisin (a sweet made of caramel, sesame, and peanuts), and the jalaato (an ice pop) are some of the best known Somali desserts.

Men’s Traditional Clothing

Men in Somalia wear a long piece of cloth and wrap it around their waist. The cloth comes down all the way down to their ankles and is often colorful. This is called “macawis.” Another item that men wear in the culture is ankle-long attire made from natural materials. It looks like a long shirt with long sleeves. And is often worn when attending the mosque. This is called a “khamiis.” The men also wear colorful turbans and caps which are called a “koofiyah'' and “imamaad.”

Women's Traditional Clothing

Women's traditional clothing There is special clothing for formal events like weddings or celebrations in Somalia. In those days women wear something called a “dirac.” A dirac is a long light dress made from cotton and is worn with a silk underskirt called a “gorgarad.” The dirac is very beautiful and colorful.

Somali's Folktales

Somalia’s Folktales Somalia is a well-known country of folk music and tales. When I was growing up my family ( aunts, uncles, grandparents, ETC.) would tell me, my cousins, and siblings stories about this scary old woman who lived in Somalia called Deeg Deer ( in English it means long ear) and how she used to eat and cook people mostly children. They used to tell us that she lived in a cabin that was hidden behind trees and near a river and when she heard children her ear would grow long and she would follow the sound and find her way to the kids kidnap them, cook them, eat them and feed them to her daughter. There are many more Somali folk tales but Deeg Deer is I believe one of the most famous and one of my personal favorites even though it's a bit creepy.

Somali's Famous Landscapes

Somalia’s famous landscapes When most foreign people think about Somalia they just think of poor people and barren landscapes in the desert. But Somalia actually has a lot of beautiful forests and waterfalls too, such as the LAMADAYA waterfall. Lamadaya is a waterfall that is located in the Cal Madow mountain range in the eastern Sanaag region.

Somali Camel

Somali Camel In Somalia the camel is the most important animal. Somalis use them for a lot of different things and reasons like transportation, food, drinks, and earning money. In Africa, if you want to marry a woman you pay for the wedding by giving the woman's father a camel. Sometimes the status of a person is determined by whether they owned a comal too.

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