Union des Comores
Although the Comoros is a small nation, there are various ethnic groups represented on the islands. Early migrants from Southeast Asia and the Arabian Peninsula have mingled with those that migrated from mainland Africa. The most widely spoken language is Qomorian (or Shikomoro) and there different dialects on the islands. Other languages include Arabic and French. Almost all the Comorians are followers of the Islamic faith and this is reflected in the use of Arabic as an official language. The Islamic legacy also reflects in the architecture of many of the structures, especially in the capital city of Moroni. I find the Comorians to be very kind, warm and open-handed culture.
In Comoros, the mosque and the public square are very important, and many of the social events revolve around these two places. Many Comorians are anglers and that is understandable considering the fact that their nation is an archipelago with water on all sides. In various parts of the nation, I saw artisans who were experts in sculpture, basket making, millinery and goldsmithing. After much bargaining, I bought a graceful raffia hat from a very grateful seller at the local market on Grand Comoros. In the villages, there is a popular game of marawanso, which I tried but was thoroughly trashed, even by kids.
What to Eat and Drink?
One experience that every visitor to the Comoros will treasure forever is eating at any of the settlements on the island. Rice is the staple diet, alongside plantain, cassava and coconuts. Fish is also never in short supply. I tried a plate of fried coconuts, boiled plantain and fresh fish. Nothing tasted more delicious! I also noticed the heavy use of mutton and spices such as nutmeg and vanilla in cooking. Do you want to stimulate your taste buds? Comoros is the place to be. However, it is important to chip in a very important fact. Almost 100% of the Comorians are Muslims and alcohol consumption is not encouraged. So, if you crave for a bottle of whisky, you need to be tactical about it so as not to offend your graceful hosts.
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria)
Daniel Krasnopolsky (Woodmere, NY, USA)
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