Culture of Angola

The People

Angola's population is estimated to be somewhere between 11 and 15 million, as the movement of displaced people doesn't allow for a completely accurate count. The national language is Portuguese, though some people in urban centers speak their native languages. The religion most commonly practiced by Angolans is Christianity. Common clothes are the same clothes we Westerners wear.

Customs and Courtesies

Greetings may include a kiss on the cheek, a brief hug, or shaking of hands. We and the citizens of Angola share the gesture of "thumbs up," meaning things are okay. In rural areas, people may visit one another's homes without previously announcing it, though, in Urban areas, people are more likely to telephone ahead. The name used for breakfast, mata-bicho, literally means "kill the beast."


Ninety percent of families have lost someone to war, leaving widows heading the family. Many children are left orphaned and roaming the streets. Families who live together are often extended families. Casual dating often begins as young teens. Young people who date most likely have the intention of marrying. Soccer is the most popular sport, and is played by children using a ball made of tightly-bound rags.


Jose Eduardo, the president, is the head of the government. The president appoints the prime minister, as well as being chief of state. Angola's economy relies mainly on the oil industry, though there are also many other resources. These include diamonds, gold, iron, timber, and fish. Though most roads are unpaved, paved roads connect the provincial capitals. School is mandatory through the sixth grade, though there are not enough schools or teachers to enforce this law. In Angola, there is no such thing as health insurance, so all medical expenses must be paid by the patient themselves.