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Lifestyle in Ivory Coast

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Are you about to move to Ivory Coast? Here is an overview of the local lifestyle: food, religion, culture, customs, traditions, etc.

If you are planning to move to Ivory Coast, you are probably wondering about its population lifestyle. In general, Ivorian nationals are very attached to their customs and traditions. Religion, food and culture are also an essential part of their everyday life. By living among them, you will discover and learn more about the great wealth of this West African country.

Religion and customs

Most Ivorian nationals are of Catholic or Muslim faith. Hence, customs are shared among the local population. Indeed, most of them have continued to honor ancient customs, regardless of their faith. Animistic rites and prayers, ethnic festivals, age-old cults, magic, etc., are quite widespread in the country and these have a significant importance for Ivorian nationals.

Eating habits

Ivorian nationals also have their local eating and cooking habits. In villages and families which are still very attached to their traditions, it is common for people to eat with their fingers.

As regards the Ivorian cuisine, the most favorite dishes are the attiéké which is made of cassava and generally accompanied by meat or fish in sauce, the kedjenou which is steamed chicken with vegetables in banana leaves, and the n’voufou which is a banana or yam mash mixed with palm oil and accompanied by an eggplant sauce.

The most common ingredients in the Ivorian cuisine are the following: citrus, fish, chicken, tomatoes and onions. Bangui, which is the local palm wine, is the national beverage.

Nightlife and tips

Most major Ivorian cities, such as Abidjan, have a lively and bustling nightlife. Indeed, you will be delighted to find night clubs, restaurants, hotels, casinos, bars, as well as shows almost everywhere. In coastal villages, small restaurants have been set up on the beach.

Arts and culture

The Ivorian traditional music is very melodious and full of rhythm. Musical instruments are made of local materials such as the calabash, animal leather and horns.

As regards handicraft, each ethnic group has its own artistic skills. They particularly specialize in carving, face masks, as well as Korhogo paintings which have even influenced world-famous painter Pablo Picasso.

Festivals

Most public holidays in Ivory Coast are either Christian or Muslim festivals or civil events. The calendar year also comprises several traditional festivals pertaining to ancestors, the deceased and nature.

In January, the Adzopé region, which is found in the Southeast of the country, celebrates its generations. In February, the Bangolo region pays a tribute to its centenarians.

All regions have their own generation celebrations during their own period. In Tanda and Bondoukou, the festival of yams is celebrated in September and October.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Everyday life in Ivory Coast Forum 
Our Africa – Food and daily life in Ivory Coast www.our-africa.org
Every Culture – Ivory Coast www.everyculture.com

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Ivory Coast's labor market is rather open towards expatriates. You should not have much trouble in finding a job on moving there.

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