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Somali Culture Overview

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Military coup led by Mohamed Siyad Barre, 1969. War with Ethiopia, 1963-1964 and 1977 ... Mohamed Siyad Barre's regime falls in 1991 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Somali Culture Overview


1
Somali Culture Overview
  • By
  • Mohamud Noor

2
Somalia
  • Area 246,000 square miles
  • Population 9 million
  • Nationality Somali (s)
  • Capital City Mogadishu
  • Currency Shilling
  • Languages Somali, Arabic (official), English
  • Products livestock,fruits, hide and skin,
    textile
  • Religion Islam
  • Climate Tropical and warm

3
Part I History of Somalia
  • Puntland and Early contacts with Pharaohs of
    Egypt and trade in frankincense and myrrh
  • Early contact with Islam
  • Migration of Prophet Muhammads companions to
    Ethiopia in the 7th Century and they pass through
    the region
  • Spread through peaceful means throughout Somalia
    in the 10th Century. A number of Islamic states
    formed
  • Ibn Batuta visits and describes the region in
    1331

4
Colonial Times
  • The scramble for Africa in the 1800s
  • Partitioning of Somali inhabited lands into five
    parts in the 1880s
  • Sayid Muhammad Abdille Hassans Resistance
    Movement, 1900-1921
  • Somali Youth League formed in 1943 to work for
    Independence

5
SOMALIA WOULD BE OVERVIEW MAP
6
Independence
  • British and Italian Somaliland unite to form the
    Somali Republic in 1960
  • Civilian government, 1960-1969
  • Military coup led by Mohamed Siyad Barre, 1969
  • War with Ethiopia, 1963-1964 and 1977
  • Somali language written using the Roman Script,
    1972
  • Peace accord with Ethiopia, 1988

7
Anarchy
  • Mohamed Siyad Barres regime falls in 1991
  • Former  British Somaliland  declared itself
    independent, 1991
  • Massive displacement of refugees to neighboring
    countries
  • United Nations Operation In Somalia (UNOSOM),
    1991-94
  • UN forces withdrew, 1994
  • Immigration to the United States begins, 1993

8
Iman Six Major Beliefs
  • God (Allah)
  • Angels
  • Prophets
  • Holy Books
  • The Day of Judgment
  • Divine Fate or Predestination

9
Five Pillars of Islam
  • Declaration of faith (Shahada)
  • Prayer (Salat)
  • Charity (Zakat)
  • Fasting (Sawm)
  • Pilgrimage (Hajj)

10
Islamic Calendar
  • Islamic Holidays Eid Al-Fitr (Feast of Breaking
    the Fast, Oct. 23, 2006) and Eid Al-Adha (Feast
    of Sacrifice during Hajj, Dec. 31, 2006)
  • Prayers 5 specified times a day. Also, Friday is
    the day for the congregational prayer
  • Prayer Times for Today Morning (Subah or Fajr),
    545 AM to sunrise (615 AM) Mid-afternoon
    (Dhuhr), 100 PM, Late Afternoon (Asr), 415 PM
    Sunset (Maghrib), 655 PM Night (Ishaa), 815
    PM
  • Fasting in Ramadan No food or drink from dawn to
    sunset for 29-30 days. Expected to last Sept. 23
    - Oct . 22, 2006

11
General Attitudes of Somalis
  • Good-natured, friendly, and hospitable
  • Value friendship based on mutual respect
  • Place great worth on family and tradition
  • Cherish self-reliance and independence
  • Greatly admire wisdom and bravery
  • Good neighborliness

12
Interacting with Somalis
  • Many Somalis avoid handshake with the opposite
    gender
  • Somalis especially women may not feel comfortable
    with direct eye contact
  • The Hijab (veil) Mandated in Quran and worn for
    modesty. Long, loose-fitting, and non-revealing
  • Dietary guidelines No pork or its byproducts
  • No alcohol or drugs
  • Birthday not celebrated and why is 01-01 so
    common?

13
Names
  • Somalis officially use three names a given name,
    father's name and grandfather's name 
  • There is no family surname
  • Somali women do not use their husband's surname
    after marriage
  • The origin of Somali names is often Cushitic or
    Arabic, with the latter more common
  • The names could be spelled in many differently
    ways for an example Abdullahi spelled as
    Abdullah, Abdillahi, Cabdillahi or Abdi-llahi.
    The fist part Abd means servant and the second
    part may be one of the ninety nine names or
    attributes of God

14
Greetings
  • Common verbal greetings include
  • Iska Waran (How are you)
  • Subah wanaagsan (Good morning)
  • Galab wanaagsan (Good afternoon)
  • Habeen wanaagsan (Good night)
  • Somalis also often use the Arabic-based greeting,
    Assalam Alaikum meaning Peace be upon you

15
Gestures
  • It is impolite to use the index finger to call
    somebody
  • It is impolite to point the sole of one's foot or
    shoe at another
  • American 'thumbs up' could be considered by older
    people as obscene
  • Moving a finger across your neck indicates 'I
    will cut your neck'
  • A swift twist of the open hand and wrist means
    "nothing" or "no
  • A thumb under the chin indicates fullness
  • Snapping fingers may mean long ago and so on
  • Winking at the opposite sex is vulgar

16
Role of interpreter
  • Introduces self and explains role
  • Positions self to facilitate communication
  • Accurately and completely relays the message
  • Uses the interpretation mode that best enhances
    comprehension
  • Reflects the style and vocabulary of the speaker
  • Ensures that the interpreter understands the
    message to be transmitted
  • Remains neutral
  • Identifies and separates personal belief from
    those of the other parties
  • Identifies and corrects own mistakes
  • Addresses culturally based miscommunication, when
    necessary

17
Interpreter Code of Ethics
  • Maintains confidentiality
  • Interprets accurately and completely
  • Maintains impartiality
  • Maintains professional distance
  • Knows own limits
  • Demonstrates professionalism

18
Somalis in Minnesota
  • Why Minnesota
  • Employment opportunities
  • Accommodating educational system
  • Affordable housing
  • Community network
  • Early arrivals in 1993
  • Current estimate 35,000
  • Areas of Concentration Twin Cities, Rochester,
    Faribault, Owatonna, Marshall, St. Cloud, Mankato
  • Immigrants consist of all sectors of Somali
    society

19
Issues of Concern
  • Immigration and greater scrutiny of Muslims
  • Intergenerational communication gap
  • Financial stability
  • Preservation of family unit and values
  • Housing
  • Employment

20
Community Achievements
  • Many small businesses
  • Over 15 community service organizations
  • Media Outlets 5 Television shows, 3 radio
    broadcasts, 3 Newspapers, 2 magazine
  • 4 Somali Malls
  • Beginning to participate in the political process

21
Resources
  • Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota
    (612) 338-5282
  • Dar Al-Hijrah Cultural Center (612) 227-3933
  • Village Mall, 912 S 24th Street, Minneapolis
  • www.IslamicFinder.org
  • http//www.rso.cornell.edu/csis/index.html
  • http//www.cce.umn.edu/pdfs/DCP/PTI/language_gap.p
    df
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