Culture of Ivory Coast
Ivory Coasts population of 17.3 million is growing at 2.11 percent annually. The official language is French but because of the many different ethnic groups, many languages are spoken. The religion is divided between traditional groups (50%), Islam (30%), and Christianity (20%). About 40 percent of the population lives in urban areas.
Ivorians use a gesture to show respect for a social superior involves shaking right hands while using the left hand to support the elbow. Sucking air through one's teeth indicates disapproval. Visiting and hospitality are highly valued. Visitors may drop by at any time of the day.
Football (soccer) and dame (a form of checkers) are popular activities for males. Young girls get together in evenings to gossip, sing, and talk. New Years, Independence Day, and National Day are celebrated through out the country. Many people also celebrate Christmas and Easter.