Kitchen Connection - Kitchen Connection Goes to: Kenya!
Official Name: Kenya
Official Language(s): English, Swahili
National Dish(es): Mandazi
The bowl of mushy peas,
Fun Facts: Coffee is a huge export in Kenya, but it is not consumed in the country. Kenyans believe that all of the coffee they produce should be sold outside of their country, so they drink tea or beer.
Kenyan Coffee Pot
*Largest City (ies): Nairobi
*Culinary travel destination(s): Nairobi,Mombasa,
*Primary Language(s): English, Swahili
*%Urban to Rural: 27%
*Primary Agricultural Exports: tea, coffee, fish
*Food expenditure for one week: $315.14
*Caloric intake available daily per person: 2,060 kcal
*Alcohol consumption per capita: 3.40 liters
*Obese population: 7.1%
*Big Mac Price: $5.58
*Meat consumption per person per year: 16.7 kg (2009)
*Prevalence of Hunger: 21.0
*Culture: Kenyan Society and Culture
The Kenyan People
Kenya is not a homogeneous country ethnicity wise. The make-up of Kenyans is primarily that of 13 ethnic groups with an additional 27 smaller groups. The majority of Kenyans belong to ‘Bantu’ tribes such as the Kikuyu, Luhya and Kamba. There are also the ‘Nilotic’ tribes such as the Luo, Kalenjin, Maasai and Turkana. The ‘Hamitic’ people include the Turkana, Rendille and Samburu. Around 13% of the population are of non-African descent, i.e. Indian, Arab and European.
The Kenyan Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Around half the population are Christians, 10% Muslim and there are small Hindu and Sikh minorities. The balance of the population follows traditional African, often animist, beliefs. Christians tend to be concentrated in the west and central sections of the country while Muslims cluster in the eastern coastal regions. Most Kenyans interweave native beliefs into a traditional religion.
Kenyans are group-orientated rather than individualistic. “Harambee,” (coming from the Bantu word meaning “to pull together”) defines the people’s approach to others in life. The concept is essentially about mutual assistance, mutual effort, mutual responsibility and community self-reliance. This principle has historically been practiced by every ethnic group with its roots in cooperative farming or herding. Harambee took on a more political resonance when used at the time of independence by Jomo Kenyatta as a way to bring people together.
The Role of the Family
As you might expect in a group-orientated culture, the extended family is the basis of the social structure. It includes relatives on both sides of the family as well as close friends. Quite often the husband’s parents will live with the nuclear family when they get older and can no longer care for themselves. When people marry, they join their families, thus ensuring that there will always be a group to turn to in times of need.
Like most Africans, Kenyans place a large emphasis on the respect and reverence of their deceased ancestors. This is not ancestor worship per se, but rather a belief that when someone dies their spirit lives on and must be acknowledged. The belief is that the person only really dies completely when their relatives no longer remember them.
One’s ancestors are thought to be able to influence events in life since they are in a limbo state and closer to God than the living. Therefore, they may make offerings to them or name a baby after one so that his spirit can live in the child. Demonstrating respect towards ancestors is believed to maintain harmonious relationships within the family, extended family, and clan or tribe.
*National Dish (es): Mandazi
*National Drink(s): Tusker Beer
*Major Holidays/Special Holiday Foods:
*Fun foodie facts: One delightful element about Kenya food is its diverse flavor. Kenyan cooking draws upon a variety of ethnic traditions merged with the seasonings and tastes of outside countries.
*Main religions: Christians, Muslim.
*Indigenous communities and their dishes: the Ogiek, Sengwer, Yaaku Waata and Sanya, while pastoralists include the Endorois, Turkana,Maasai, Samburu
*Native species: Lion
Black Backed Jackal
Buffalo with baby
Giant Forest Hog
Cape Clawless Otter
Unstriped Ground Squirrel
*SDGs that are especially prevalent in the respective country: 1, 2, 13
Tags : Kitchen Connection Kenya Featured Country Kenyan Food Travel
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