Friday, February 23, 2007

Jallabiya and tob?

I once had a discussion with a colleague from North Sudan about the question of national dress and national food in Sudan. It was interesting how he feels strongly about it.


The way the discussion went, if you asked a person from North Sudan what is considered the National dress in Sudan, (s)he will automatically say "Jallabiya" and "Hima" for men and "Tob" for women! But I find the argument not quiet right. I feel Sudan doesn't have one!


A national dress should be representative of the whole country. If you go to the village in the southern most corner of the country or anyway where else people wear it. People are identified with it et cetra. Does it happen in Sudan?


The people in Northern Sudan (who happened to be the majority) wear the jallabiya and tob. It has become the norm and been taken as the national dress. It is more the traditional dress, than national. However, some people in the south don't like it. That said, the Dinka and some of the tribes have a much shorter form of the jallabiya, usually made from colourful materials and end just below the knee. It is convenient for going with it to town, if you know that most go naked when living in the cattle camps.


What is commonly worn down south are the traditional skirt with loose cloth wrapped round the body and tied over the shoulder (called the laou?). It is common among the Shilluk and the Bari tribes in the South. The men go around in shorts!
Sorry, couldn't get nice photoes to illustrate my post.

6 comments:

Precious said...

Very interesting & enlighting post..
This doesnt only go down to the national dress, but much more.. The other day I was asked by a Lebanese business man investing in Sudan bout the National food of sudan.. & it was difficult for me & my friends to give him one specific answer.. Food, Dress codes, and other traditions differ from one part in Sudan to another.. From one tribe to another..& for me, this is what I love most about Sudan.. its traditions diversity!

Black Kush said...

I agree 100% about food too. Is it possible to really define these things? Is it necessary that they be defined at all? Sudan is really rich in diversity.

In many parts of Africa, and the the world for that matter, people are known for their peculiar dress, food or other traditions. That will be difficult for Sudan to achieve.

Our traditions and cultures are too diverse to be melted into one. Unity in diversity is what Sudan should be hailed for as its uniqueness.

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