Your new local habits in Swaziland

Hello everyone,

Living in Swaziland is a great way to immerse in a new culture and lifestyle.

Have you embraced local customs since you've lived in Swaziland? If so, which one(s)?

Did local customs change the way you see things, appreciate life or organize your daily routines? As far as the language is concerned, did you learn new expressions or words and do you use them?

What do you like most about the lifestyle in your host country? Are there any local specificities you are still struggling with?

Thanks in advance,


Hi there aspiring Swazis!

I think the best part of Swazi cultural I have adopted is the food! I love traditional Swazi cooking. Their pervasive starch, pap is a cornmeal porridge, very similar to grits in the US. They cook it a bit drier than we would, kind of until it forms stiff chunks. They do eat it "wet" sometimes for breakfast porridge, which is what they call the consistency of our grits. They eat it with gravy or stewed tomatoes.

Samp & beans is another new favorite. It has a traditional name that I can't pronounce nor spell... It is also a starch--kind of broken maize/corn kernels which have been dried. They are soaked overnight and boiled for hours like beans. The beans are also soaked and boiled separately. They later add onions, peppers, carrots, and peanut butter. Sounds odd but it is delicious!!

Achar is a condiment, similar to Korean kimchi, but much milder--not acrid. It comes in mild, hot, and Swazi Hot. They put it on meat, food in general. I've had only vegetable achar, made of cabbage, carrots, green beans in oils & spices... Love it.

I think in general, I eat more fresh vegetables because they are plentiful and cheap. I have also started a garden as many locals grow their own vegetables. I also eat more shisanyama--braai/BBQ meat. Swazis love a good barbecue and you can have your meat seasoned to taste and cooked for you at many grocers.

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