Thursday, May 1, 2008

New month, new nation, Angola



I spent the evening tying up the asparagus stalks outside. The neighbor's little black Scottie dog came over to keep me company.

May has arrived. It's time for me to learn about a new country. Angola is my subject for this month -- an African nation on the west coast of that continent. At 481,350 square miles, it's no speck like Andorra -- it's twice the size of Texas.

The name derives from an African word for king, ngola.

This vast country is mostly a great plateau, with a healthful and refreshing climate. The nation is also blessed -- or perhaps cursed -- with huge oil reserves, only recently tapped, and predictably not being shared with most of the population.

The people are Bantu, linguistically. Most are Christian. And Portugal was the nation's colonial ruler until the 1970s.

So that's the place in a nutshell. It will be a challenge to dig deeper, to learn about this country which is not only very different culturally from my own experience, but which is also largely off the world's radar screen. Who are their heroes? What are their special dishes, their authors, their cherished holidays?

5 comments:

the walking man said...

ECD, you are compulsively organized aren't you?

Laughing Peace

mark

eastcoastdweller said...

Mark: More like compulsively acquisitive and inquisitive, with organization being my sole defense against insanity and/or drowning.

Janice Thomson said...

One doesn't hear much about Angolia at all. Africa is a fascinating continent to study, its cultures so vastly different than ours - and some of their practices a little scary as well.

immase said...

One may not hear much about Angola, but believe me, every business corner in this world are talking a lot about Angola.
It's the next Dubai.
Do explore more and you will find a lot of good stuff about this suffered country.
Main language is portuguese... bantu is an heritage race that prevails in this western sub-saharian area of Africa.

Eastcoastdweller said...

Immase:

Thanks for stopping by. May God grant that the nations of Africa will someday have their turn at the table of full democracy and progress -- and Angola be just as likely a destination for business or pleasure as London, Beijing or Tokyo.