Uganda is one East Africa country that is greatly endowed by nature in terms of culture and history. While here, you will be surprised to see and take pictures of the most endangered group of people; the pygmies locally referred to as the Batwa in the rain forests of south western part of the country. These people have the most interesting behaviors and characters and you will love to spend time with them even a single second will leave a broad smile on your face. This group feeds on bush meat and fruits. This makes hunting and fruit gathering their main activities carried out to ensure their survival. It’s interesting to see and interact with a group of people that lives in forests and has to go hunting wild animals and collect fruits for food.
This group of people is also talented when it comes to the local dances. They have organized traditional dances that are done in their language, they are very hospitable to an extent that they even fight to appear on the picture scene; they indeed love to interact with visitors. Uganda also has a diverse range of ethnic groups in addition to the pygmies / Batwa. These include the Baganda and several other tribes. In the north live the Lango and the Acholi, who speak Nilotic languages. To the east are the Iteso and Karamojong, who speak a Nilotic language. Lake Kyoga forms the northern boundary for the Bantu-speaking peoples, who dominate much of east, central and southern Africa.
Languages of Uganda
About 41 languages are spoken in Uganda but the main ones are Luganda, English and Swahili. These serve as national languages and have played a very big role in uniting Uganda with Africa and the entire world at large. Luganda is the most common language. English is the official language of Uganda, even though only a relatively small proportion of the population speaks it. Access to economic and political power is almost impossible without having mastered that language. The East African lingua franca Swahili is relatively widespread as a trade language and was made an official national language of Uganda in September 2005. Luganda, a language widespread in central Uganda, has been the official vernacular language in education for central Uganda for a long time.
Religion in Uganda
Almost all Ugandans practice religion though Christianity dominates followed by Islam. Christians make up 85.1% of Uganda's population. There were sizeable numbers of Sikhs and Hindus in the country until Asians were expelled in 1972 by Idi Amin, following an alleged dream, although many are now returning following an invitation from the new president, Yoweri Museveni. There is quite a number of Muslims making it the second after Christianity.
Clothing in Uganda
In Uganda, different ethnic groups have come up with their dressing styles in an effort to identify themselves from others; however, the Kanzu is the national traditional dress of men in the country. Women wear a dress with a sash tied around the waist called Gomesi.
Music of Uganda.
In the pearl of Africa, music is a culture and source of informal education. Important messages and ideas are communicated through dance and drama. Each ethnic group has its musical history; songs are passed down from generation to generation. Ndigindi and entongoli (lyres), ennanga (harp), amadinda (xylophone, see Baganda Music) and lukeme (lamellophone ("thumb piano") are commonly played instruments. An Acholi, Okot p'Bitek, is one of Uganda's most famous writers of folklore, satirical poems and songs. His book Song of Lawino (1966) describes the stories told in Acholi songs. Come and relax your mind as you feel the most exciting rhythms of nature competing with our local instruments. <
Historical Sites of Uganda
The pearl of Africa is well endowed with different cultural and historical sites which include the following;
Kabaka’s administration palace and Lake (The Kabaka’s Lake) Bulange Mengo is the official palace of the Kabaka, Buganda’s King. It’s located on Nateete road off Rubaga road and is built with high walls, beautiful gardens and a large statue of King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. It is where the king meets his council and it serves as an assembly and an administrative centre for Buganda. It’s the pride of Buganda and some of their occasions are held there.
Uganda Museum Located in Kampala is a centre for Ugandan culture which was founded in 1908. It carries a display of Uganda’s cultural Heritage including ethnological and natural historical exhibitions. All cultural backgrounds in Uganda are represented, and the displays show the different developmental stages they have gone through. The museum holds approximately 3000 volumes of maps, periodical photographs and artifacts, sociology, travel and science pieces. It is indeed fun paying a visit to this wonderful place.
Bahai Temple A temple of its kind in the whole of Africa. The temple also called Marsriqu l’-Adhukar, is located on Kikaya hill on Gayaza road about 4 miles from Kampala, and was built 40 years ago on nine big pillars. It belongs to the Bahai religious group, believed to have began by the messenger called Bha’u’llah born in Tehran Iran 1817-1892. The temple was opened to the public on 15th January 1962, and attracts many tourists since it’s the only one in Africa.
Martyrs Shrine – Namugongo The physical source for Ugandan Christian faith. Namugongo martyrs shrine is situated 12km to the North-East of Kampala. It commemorates the conspiracy and harrowing brutality that sums up the tale of 22 brave Christian Ugandan martyrs. These 22 Ugandan Roman Catholics were burnt alive in 1886 for refusing to denounce their faith. In case you want to know more about the strength of our Christian faith here in Uganda, come and witness yourself. Uganda martyrs day is celebrated every 3rd of June and up to this day the martyrs are honored around the world for their faith and courage. The shrine attracts thousands of pilgrims every year to pay homage to the saints.
Fort Bigo Bya Mugyenyi Believed to have been by the bacwezi and their related kingdoms, Bigo Bya Mugyenyi and unique earth works are the largest and most important of the several works built by the Bacwezi. Bigo is thought to have been a fort built to protect the southern extreme of the Bacwezi kingdom. The outer ditch and an inner royal enclosure built on a small hill make up the interesting two concentric sets of earthworks. Locals regard this place as having supernatural powers. The supernatural being of the Bacwezi makes this part of the world interesting and worth visiting once in Uganda.
Kasubi Royal Tombs Kasubi tombs are the traditional royal tombs of the kings of Buganda. The tombs are situated 5km away from the Kampala city centre. This interesting site is where the dead kings of Buganda kingdom are buried. Buganda kingdom is in the central and southern part of Uganda. Buganda kingdom is the most dominant kingdom in Uganda. The architecture of the tombs reflects the early civil architectural ingenuity which makes the site a popular tourist attraction for both locals and foreigners.
Naggalabi coronation site Buddo It is here that the kings of Buganda have been crowned for the last 700 years. The site is located on Buddo hill a few kilometers from Kampala on Masaka road. It is therefore an important site in Buganda culture. The Buganda kings are crowned on this hill because it’s believed that the first Muganda thus first king Kintu killed his brother Bemba on this hill. It is here that the current Kabaka / king of Buganda kingdom Ronald Muwenda Mutebi was crowned on 31st July 1993.