Burkina Faso

Culture of Burkina Faso

The People

Burkina Faso's population is about 13.6 million, and is growing yearly at a rate of 2.6 percent. There are more than 60 different types of languages; however French is the main spoken language of the government and schools, but only 15-20 percent of the population speaks it. Muslims and Christians are the two main religious groups in Burkina Faso. Burkinabes wear African as well as Western clothing. For example, in rural areas, men wear a Muslim robe , and women wear a wraparound skirt with a blouse or T-shirt.


People in Burkina Faso greet each other in different ways. Urban Burkinabes that have not seen each other in a long time may kiss your cheek, or if you want to show respect you would bow your head. They use the right hand to greet people, pass materials and food. Using your left hand, especially for greeting or food is extremely rude. Meals are usually eaten in silence. Men and women eat separately . Men eat in a circle, women and children sit in another room.


Large families are common, especially rural areas where a family might have up to 10 members. Marriages on the countryside are still usually arranged. Islamic laws allow one man to have up to 4 wives, as long as he can treat them all equally. As recreation, men like to play cards or board games, and its common for women to get together to do each other's hair.


Burkina Faso has a parliamentary democracy, which means their president is head of state. The prime minister is the head of the government. All the instructions at school are in French, so some students don't do that well if they don't have a French speaking back round. Most people walk to their destinations or ride bikes, since they have lack in developing the public transportation system.