Friday, July 08, 2011

Happy Birthday South Sudan!

Today, the world's newest country has been born. South Sudan.
According to the Guardian in London, these are eight things we
need to know about the African nation of South Sudan:

• After considering various names including Azania, Nile Republic and
Kush Republic, the government settled on the safest choice: the Republic
of South Sudan, or Ross.

• The national flag is the same as that used by the rebel army, the SPLA,
and consists of horizontal black, red and green stripes, separated by two
thinner white bands. The thick stripes represent the black people, their
blood and fertile land. White is for peace. The blue triangle at the flag's
hoist symbolises the Nile, and the yellow star inside it the unity of the
10 states.

• With several hundred language groups, South Sudan is one of the most
linguistically diverse countries in Africa. English and Arabic were the official
languages, but after independence only English will be retained as an official
working language, according to the transitional constitution.

• A fish eagle appears on the coat of arms, while the symbol of the
government is a secretary bird.

• Chosen through a competition, the national anthem comprises four
short stanzas and lasts a little more than a minute.

• Football and basketball are increasingly popular sports, but the most
popular traditional pastime is wrestling.

• The South Sudan pound will enter circulation in the coming months.

• There is no official national dish, as food varies widely throughout the states.
In the east, Ethiopian-style dishes are common; in the north, fuul – cooked
and mashed fava beans – is popular. Elsewhere, meals based around sorghum,
beans and sometimes goat meat are common.

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