Culture and language


Angola shares cultural aspects of Portugal: language and main religion. The diverse ethnic communities - the Ovimbundu, Ambundu, Bakongo, Chokwe, and other peoples - maintain to keep their own cultural traits, traditions and languages, but in the cities, where slightly more than half of the population now lives, a mixed culture has been emerging since colonial times. An African influence is evident in music and dance.


The languages in Angola are those originally spoken by the different ethnic groups plus Portuguese due to the country being a former Portuguese colony. The indigenous languages with the largest usage are Umbundu, Kimbundu, and Kikongo, in that order. Portuguese is the official language of the country. However, in Angola the mastery of the official language is probably more extended than elsewhere in Africa, and this certainly applies to its use in everyday life. Moreover, and above all, the proportion of native (or near native) speakers of the language of the former colonizer, turned official after independence, is no doubt considerably higher than in any other African country. The number of individual languages listed for Angola is 42. Of those, 41 are living languages and 1 has no known speakers.


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