Classroom Activities
Teacher's Page

The three main religions of Sudan are Islam, Christianity, and Indigenous faiths. It is estimated that 97% of people from Sudan practice Islam. Along the Niger, in the north and central parts of Sudan, Islam is the main religion. For those who have an indigenous faith, there are rites and passages passed down orally. Each ethnic group has a faith which is how one person's faith is chosen. Religion is Sudan is part of their daily life. Believing and acting is thought of as a religious mode, rather than a separate human action. (Wikipedia, 2011)

Traditions and Customs

Think about some of the traditions in the U.S. Then read about Traditions in Sudan. Do we have some of the same traditions?
Ramadan- this tradition is the month where Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking from sun up to sun down. They eat usually one meal after sunset. Here is a picture of what a typical Sudanese Ramadan meal might look like:ramadan.jpg
Henna- Henna dates back to ancient times. It is a paste applied to the skin. It is used during circumcision. Elaborate designs are used on women for their wedding. Women also wear it daily after they are married. A simple henna design is applied to the men when they get married. Here is a video of tradition henna design.

Death- When someone dies in Sudan, the body is taken as soon as possible to the place of burial. First it is prepared, washed, and perfumed. It is wrapped in a shroud and carried on a wooden bed to the graveyard. Relatives and friends at the graveyard recite the Koran. Women do not attend. Women are back at the house of the deceased. They sit indoors. After the burial, the men are outside in a tent, that sometimes blocks the street. The mourners will get a glass of water and black tea. If they stay for a long time, they will be offered a meal that is prepared by the women. Sugar, tea, and coffee can be left by mourners as a contribution. This last for three days.
Shoe-shine- Since there are very few paved roads in Sudan, it is a custom for boys to shine shoes that are dirty. Usually the boys that do this are homeless. They do it for a small amount and use the money to survive.
Wedding meals- Hundreds or thousands of people show up for breakfast for a wedding. Traditional foods, that are listed above, are served at the breakfast. For lunch, there is typically beef, a salad, a pasta dish, mince with fried potatoes, okra, stuffed vegetables,salads of aubergine, and mixed fruit (Local traditions and culture in Sudan, 2011).

Popular Music
Music in Northern Sudan is referred to as "post Haqibah". This music is marked by the introduction of tonal instruments including the violin, accordion, oud, tabla, and bongo. In the 1960s, Sudan took more of an American approach to music and one of their famous musicians danced on stage for the first time. In the 1970's, Sudanese music evolved more and they incorporated different instruments such as brass instruments and the guitar. Another important advance in music was made by the group Sharhabil and His Band. They introduced modern rhythms relating to popular and soul music using for the first time electric guitars, double bass, and brass instruments, with the emphasis on rhythm section. The lyrics were also informal and popular. Women singers were not accepted in Sudan until the 1960's when female singers sang for the Sudan Defense Force during World War II. (Wikipedia, Music of Sudan, 2011) What music is popular in the U.S.?

Here is an example of Sudanese Music:

It is a custom to start the morning a cup of tea in Sudan. Breakfast is typically eaten at mid-morning. A common breakfast may consist of beans, salad, liver, and bread. In Sudan, millet is a staple food and can be used to make a flat bread or porridge. Nomads rely on meat from camels and dairy products. Meat is not commonly consumed because it can be expensive. For special guest or for a feast, sheep are eaten. Cooking is done on a grill called a kanoon. It is prepared outside the house in a courtyard. Tea and coffee are popular drinks in Sudan.
Common Dishes-
Asida- porridge
Kisra- Flat bread
Ful- Broad beans cooked in oil
Marara- intestines, lungs, and liver of animals prepared with chili powder

(Countries and their cultures, Sudan, 2011).

There are four levels of education in Sudan. The first level is Kindergarten and daycare. It starts at ages 3-4. Then there is elementary school. Children enter elementary school at age 6 or 7. They attend for 8 years. Each year the subject matter gets harder. At the end of elementary school, student must take an exam to enter high school. High school is the third level of education in Sudan. It last 3 years. More subjects such as chemistry and geography are introduced. The fourth level of Sudan is higher education. There are many universities in Sudan (Wikipedia, Education in Sudan, 2011).

Here is a picture of the University of Khartoum, the University in Khartoum, Sudan.
Marriages- Marriages in Sudan are typically arranged by the parents. Sudanese often marry cousins or second cousins. If it is not with a family member, it is at least among the same social class and tribe. The bride and groom do not see each other before the wedding. The groom is older than the bride because he has to be able to provide for the family financially. He also must provide jewelry, clothes, furniture, and sometimes cattle as a bride-prize. The typical age for a middle class Sudanese woman to marry is nineteen or twenty, after she has finished school. For lower class women, the age is younger. Divorce is looked down upon in Sudan but is more common today than it once was. If a marriage ends, the bride-prize is returned to the man.
Living arrangements- Extended families typically live together. After a marriage, the bride and groom live with the bride's family for at least one year of marriage. Once they have their first child, they may move out, but typically live close to the family.
(Countries and their cultures, Sudan, 2011). How do families in the U.S. differ from those of Sudan?


Culture of Sudan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved November 30, 2011, from

Culture of Sudan - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family. (n.d.). Countries and Their Cultures. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from

Education in Sudan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from

Music of Sudan. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved December 2, 2011, from

gogatoo. (n.d.). Sudan music - YouTube . YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . Retrieved December 4, 2011, from

there..., t. w. (n.d.). Sudanese Henna Design - YouTube . YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. . Retrieved December 5, 2011, from

uglyscot. (n.d.). Local traditions and culture in Sudan - Culture - VirtualTourist. Travel Guides, Hotel Reviews, Photos, Forums, Deals - Retrieved December 4, 2011, from