The location of Eritrea, which is on the Red Sea and it has historical connections with neighboring countries like Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Italy, and the Near East, has affected and influenced it’s culture. The Eritrean culture is largely shaped by its Local customs as well as music is influenced by the country’s ethnic background.
Eritrea developed a layered culture that borrows elements from different countries. There are many interesting traditions that can be observed throughout the country, many of which have religious origins. Art is expressed through both music and crafts.
Food is very similar to Ethiopian cuisine, mixed with other native culinary traditions. The Eritrean cuisine is a fusion of traditional Ethiopian, Somalian and Eritrean cooking, with a hint of influences from neighboring countries as well as the countries from its colonial days. Tsebhi or stew served with injera (flatbread) and hilbet (a tasty paste made from lentil and faba beans) is a specialty along with the staple kitcha fit-fit, which is basically spiced, shredded, and oiled bread served with fresh yogurt and bebere as a dip. Italian Food is also commonplace, owing to Italy’s 50-year rule.
Music is influenced by the country’s ethnic background. Ethnic distinctions are evident in the dances and the kinds of music that each group produces. Drumming is common in many communities. The Tigray-Tigrinya group is known for its popular music genre called guaila.
A majority of the population practices either the Christian or the Muslim faith, religion Eritrea is a mix of many beliefs, though. The rest adhere to indigenous religions and other sects like Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, etc.
The traditional coffee ceremony, which you might see during festivities or if you visit a local, is one of the most interesting aspects of the Eritrean culture. Coffee is brewed by roasting the beans over hot coals in an instrument known as a brazier. The host gives each participant a chance to indulge in the aromatic smoke, after which the beans are ground in a traditional wooden mortar and pestle. The grounded coffee is then put into a special clay vessel known as the jebenawhere. It is then boiled to complete the brew. Once cooled and filtered, it is served for each participant.
Eritrea is a place one should visit in Africa.