The Central African Republic is one of those African countries that the majority of the worldwide population knows nothing about. What does the majority of people associate African countries with? Poverty, lack of food and water, no access to education and high levels of violence and crimes – all the things mentioned make Central African Republic a dangerous place to visit since they exist in the country’s everyday reality.
Before making the last decision and forget about the idea of visiting the Central African Republic, one needs to take into consideration the benefits the country has to offer. By presenting our readers with a set of interesting facts about the Central African Republic, we hope to save their time and show them that the country has an authentic culture that deserves attention. Here these facts are…
Central African Republic: 8 interesting facts about one of the world’s poorest countries
1. The country’s residents have different types of greetings
The country’s residents are friendly and open people that never hesitate to greet even strangers they meet in the streets. If the crowd of people is rather big, and one needs to greet everyone, he/she won’t shake everyone’s hand. Instead, he/she will raise both hands and great the people verbally. In case of negotiations or an official meeting with men who have high status, handshake as well as head nodding are possible ways to great someone.
An interesting fact about Central African Republic is that friends greet each other by 3 kisses on the cheeks, one on the left cheek and two on the right or vice versa. It’s very important to know how to greet someone properly while staying in the country or you may get in a very awkward and possibly dangerous situation.
Before talking about something, the people will necessarily ask each other questions concerning family wellbeing.
2. The Republic’s culture places a great value on the question of clothes and everyday dresses
People living in the Central African Republic are to pay a great deal of attention to the way they dress and the clothes they choose to wear every day. In everyday life, it’s common for residents to wear comfortable clothes that make them look good. Men prefer pants and shirts while women choose long skirts and cotton blouses or tops. If you’re going to visit the country, do not take any tight jeans because this kind of clothes is considered to be inappropriate, a fun fact about Central African Republic. Women in the Central African Republic choose clothes that allow them to show as little body as possible, and they also wear a scarf on their heads.
3. The residents of the Central African Republic have a unique cultural practice
The practice we are talking about is a sort of cultural custom that many foreigners may see as strange. The Mu Na Mbi (meaning “give to me”) cultural practice is based on the idea of sharing things with each other and treat each other respectfully. If during a conversation the person you’re talking to says these 3 words, you’re expected to give him/her the thing he/she is pointing at. By doing so, you’ll show your respect and readiness to share with other people. If the thing a person is asking for was given to you as a gift and you don’t want to share it with someone, respectfully explain why you can’t give it, an interesting Central African Republic fact.
4. Men living in the country can have relationships with several girlfriends at once
Even though polygamy is not common nowadays, it’s not regarded as something particularly bad. Men are often encouraged to have relationships outside of marriage or to date several girls at once. It’s also common for married women to have many children because abortion is strictly forbidden. Big families consisting of a man, his wives and children live under one roof, with women taking care of the children together.
5. The population of the country is strictly divided into classes
The main difference between people in terms of the social class they belong to is drawn on the basis of the place they live in and the work they do. Those who managed to get a good education and build a net of connections have opportunities to level up from the lower to the middle class. However, the prospects are doubtful since even people in urban cities and with great academic achievements often struggle to find a well-paid job. The majority of the population is either unemployed or self-employed.
6. The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world
Truth be told, the Central African Republic has one of the highest poverty rates in the world, with people dying every day due to violence and insecurity on the streets, a sad fact about Central African Republic.
7. Not all the residents of the country have access to education
The survey carried out several years ago showed that a decrease in the number of children enrolling to state schools. Lack of money and bad living conditions that force to start working early are not the most common reasons why many people in the Central African Republic do not have an education. The biggest issues here are a lack of teachers and educational facilities.
8. The Republic officially permits child marriages
In contrast to many countries where people are allowed to marry at the age of 18, the Central African Republic has no strict age restrictions in terms of marriages. Many of the girls living in the country are expected to marry a man when they are under the age of 15. One of the reasons explaining such a low age limit is the belief that women’s main responsibility is to serve men. Extreme poverty and inability to earn money for family also speak in favor of early marriages.
Despite many issues the country has, it can be regarded as one of the places where one can gain authentic travel experience and plunge in the atmosphere of cultural and ethnic diversity.
I hope that this article on Central African Republic facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!