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Snapshot of the Ivory Coast – Ivory Coast’s official language is French, but many indigenous languages such as Baoulé, Dioula, Dan, and Anyin are used throughout the country. The country has a wide mix of religious groups thanks to previously being part of Islamic empires and then being ruled by France. A little less than 40% of the population is Muslim while Christianity and local indigenous religions make up about 30% each. The capital city of Yamoussoukro has the world’s largest church building, the Roman Catholic Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro. Many of the diverse ethnic groups in the Ivory Coast have their own unique types of music, many of which focus on the use of vocals and “talking drums,” but the musical styles zoblazo and zouglou are also popular. Soccer is the most popular sport in the Ivory Coast, but rugby is also popular and the national basketball team has won the African Basketball Championship in the past. Cassava, plantains, and peanuts are used in many Ivorian meals. Chicken and fish are the most commonly eaten types of meat, with the most popular seafoods being tuna, sardines and shrimp. Stews are also common staples in meals.
Snapshot of Cameroon (part of the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission)
The official languages of Cameroon are French and English, though French is more widely spoken. Several indigenous languages are also present in the country. About two-thirds of Cameroon’s population is Christian, with another 20% practicing Islam. Polygamy is still practiced in some parts of the country. Traditional music and dance play an important role in various ceremonies and festivals. Many forms of popular music in Cameroon have traditional influences, such as makossa, assiko, and mangambeu. Traditional woodcarvings and sculptures are found throughout the country. Soccer is the most popular sport in Cameroon, though traditional events such as running, canoe racing, and wrestling are also somewhat popular. Dinner is the main meal in Cameroon. Cameroon’s national dish is ndolé, a type of stew made using either fish or beef, as well as nuts and bitter leaves called ndoleh. Cassava, yam, rice, and potato are commonly eaten throughout the country. Several other types of curries, soups, and meat kebabs are also popular. Fish is eaten more often than meat because of its lower price.
In the early 1980s, two families from the Ivory Coast returned from Europe as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In 1987 there were 16 members in the entire country. Now, the membership of the church in the Ivory Coast is over 18,600.
Cassava and plantains are significant parts of Ivorian cuisine. A type of corn paste called “Aitiu” is used to prepare corn balls, and peanuts are widely used in many dishes.
Intercity travel in the Ivory Coast consists mostly of the national railway, which connects the major cities.
The US Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid crowds and demonstrations, be aware of their surroundings, and use common sense to avoid situations and locations that could be dangerous.*
*from travel.state.gov, a service from the Bureau of Consular Affairs
Sports are a big part of the culture. The Ivory Coast national football (soccer) team has competed in the World Cup twice. The nation will also host the 2013 African Basketball Championship.
As there is a large population of Muslims, there are several holidays the Ivory Coast adheres to. The major Christian holidays are also celebrated.
Contacting your missionary:
The US Postal Service does send mail to the Ivory Coast, though mail takes quite a while to travel to Africa.
06 BP 1077
Did you serve in the Cote d/Ivoire Abidjan Mission? If so we want to hear from you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your unique experiences!