Living in South Sudan Expat Guide part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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For many years, South Sudan was considered one of the most dangerous places in the world to live. The country has experienced constant fighting since it gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. As a result, millions of people were displaced internally or fled the region entirely.
However, over the past few years there have been significant improvements in the security situation, and South Sudan has been able to stabilize the region. In fact, in June 2016, a peace treaty was signed between opposing forces that put an end to years of conflict. Now more than ever, there are opportunities for expats who want to move to this country and start a new life.
It is important for people who have never lived in South Sudan to understand that it is not like living in most Western countries. Expats will find that the country has its own unique history and traditions, which often come with pros and cons for those who choose to live there.
For example, some of the historical differences between South Sudan and other countries include gender roles; women are expected to be submissive to men. In addition, the country has a different way it organizes time and money, which can have a significant effect on expat lifestyles.
This article will provide information about living in South Sudan as well as an overview of some key differences between life for Westerners and locals there. Moreover, it should be used as a starting point for people who are interested in learning more about the local customs and culture, lifestyle, and more.
Understanding the Concept of Living in South Sudan
At independence, an estimated eight million people lived in the region that is now South Sudan (Juba). The majority of the population belongs to one of around 80 ethnic groups. South Sudan is an African nation, which means it falls under the jurisdiction and traditions of the East African Community and uses English as its official language.
That being said, it has a tropical climate with two seasons: rainy and dry. Expats will find that most areas do not have distinct seasons, but rather alternate between rainy and dry periods. The rainy season runs from April to September, with the two wettest months being May and July. These months are also when South Sudan experiences its highest temperatures (34°C – 38°C).
Almost all of the country’s population is rural; less than 4% of people live in major cities. The regions with the most population density are Greater Bahr el Ghazal, which has about 1.8 million residents, and Western Equatorial, home to nearly 1.5 million people.
In South Sudan, the family is considered sacred and is responsible for raising children as well as providing for them. The majority of the population is Christian, following either Catholic or Protestant traditions. Muslims are also widely represented in the country. And due to their use of so many religions, South Sudanese have a more inclusive view of faith than Westerners do.
8 Interesting Facts about Living in South Sudan
If you’re thinking about moving to South Sudan, there are many different things you should know before making the big move. Working and living in a new country can be both exciting and challenging, but it can also be rewarding. Here are 8 interesting facts about living in South Sudan that will help you understand the many challenges that face the people who live there.
1. Languages in South Sudan
The official languages of South Sudan are Arabic and English, but due to the large number of tribes spread out over so much land, it can be difficult to find people who actually speak them. Despite this challenge, InterNations has made some recommendations on how to handle this language barrier.
Sudan has one of the largest linguistic diversity in Africa with over 200 indigenous languages spoken by different tribes. English is the official language, but Arabic predominates in many regions because it is also the most common Islamic liturgical language. Other tribal languages are also used in everyday life, especially when interacting with people from other tribal regions. English is spoken in the capital, Juba, and a few other cities by small elite. In rural areas it is rarely understood.
2. Culture in South Sudan
You may be surprised to learn that South Sudan has one of Africa’s longest histories dating back almost 3,000 years to the birth of African civilization. The tribes in South Sudan have a rich history of living in rural farming communities before European colonization. Now, the people no longer live in mud huts and wear animal skins all day, but there is still much to discover about this complex culture that will surprise you.
3. Relationships between Men and Women
Familial relationships are incredibly important to the people of South Sudan. Because resources are scarce, everyone has to contribute to the family unit. Also, it is not uncommon for children as young as 3 or 4 years old to help with chores around the house instead of playing with toys. When it comes time for marriage, it is also common for women to marry younger than in most other countries.
4. Religion in South Sudan
Because there are more than 200 different languages spoken throughout South Sudan, it would be an understatement to say that religion varies by region. The people of the Dinka tribe typically practice Christianity while many tribes in the North follow Islam.
There are even some tribes that practice witchcraft and do not practice any religion at all. It’s important to note that there is a larger divide between Christians and Muslims than there are between the people who practice Islam versus the people who practice Christianity.
5. Food in South Sudan
Depending on where you live in South Sudan, you will have access to different types of food. The most common crops grown in South Sudan are sorghum and millet with an occasional banana crop. Meat is not typically consumed every day, but it can be found for special occasions like weddings or holidays. Most families survive on a diet heavy in breads, rice, maize flour, or cassava.
However, food can be scarce in South Sudan and many people rely on neighbouring countries to import food during the dry season, but there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself and your family. If you choose to bring any non-perishable foods with you, store them in a safe and cool place like a basement or a water-tight container.
You can use this time to explore the country and learn about the differences between each community. This is because; each one has a unique culture with varying beliefs and practices, but there are a few things you will want to remember no matter where your travels take you.
6. Expat Health Insurance in South Sudan
Although you might not think that South Sudan has the same health care system as many other countries in the world, there are still critical treatments available for those who are ill or have been injured. Expat health insurance can help provide peace of mind and ensure that you’re able to get any treatment your doctor prescribes.
While most people believe that South Sudan is a dangerous place to travel, the most helpful way to prevent an accidental injury or illness is by staying informed of the current conditions. If you’re visiting South Sudan for any length of time, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the terrain and environmental conditions before leaving your home country.
7. Money Matters
If you are planning to move to South Sudan, be sure to exchange enough money for the region that you will be moving into. The country is currently working towards a unified currency, but until then it will still use US dollars in most urban areas whilst rural areas use the Pound Sterling. You can change your money in the country, but the process may take up to two weeks so it is best to bring more than enough before heading out.
8. South Sudan Has a Number of Joke Names
The name ‘South Sudan’ was almost left out at the last minute, leading many to suggest that South Sudan is one of the worst places on Earth. Other proposed names for this new country were ‘New Sudan’, ‘Upper Nile’, ‘Nile Republic’, ‘Central Sudan’ and even ‘God’s Own Country’. The latter was proposed by the World Council of Churches who wanted to encourage Christians in Sudan to move to this new country so they could be free of persecution.