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13 Random Facts About Sao Tome and Principe

facts about Sao Tome and Principe
Ocean view of Sao Tome and Principe

São Tomé and Príncipe is the second smallest country in the African Union.  Here are some facts about Sao Tome and Principe Culturally, the country is a Luso-African Creole nation, and the people are mostly descendants of Africans brought in to work on plantations. The topography of the country is extremely rugged.

There are steep hills known as Morros dominating the landscape which is heavily forested.  The island country is composed of two inhabited islands.  The total land area is 996 square kilometers of which Sao Tome accounts for 857 and some 95% of the population.

Capital:                             São Tomé

Population:                     192,993 (2013) World Bank

President:                        Manuel Pinto da Costa

Currency:                         São Tomé and Príncipe dobra

Prime minister:             Patrice Trovoada

Official language:          Portuguese

Thirteen other random facts about Sao Tome and Principe which you will love to read!

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Random Facts About Sao Tome and Principe

1. GREETING IS A MUST

In Sao Tome and Principe, you are expected to greet.  That is not all.  You are also expected to show interest and inquire about the welfare of the person and that of his/her family.  This is essential in everyday social encounters.

2. DEFERENCE IS A MUST

It is highly important to know and pay due deference to the status of a person.  This is all round: financial, educational, family.  For example, older men and women are treated with great respect.  This is especially so when they have many children and grand children.

3. INVITATION TO ENTER

Being allowed to enter into a person’s home is a great privilege that is extended to someone as a mark of honor.  This is also true of being allowed into someone’s garden.  If given this kind of honor, make sure you treat it with deserved appreciation.

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4. CONVERSATION MAINLY OUTSIDE

Acquaintances converse or carry on conversation on the road as they walk or stand.  They also converse across garden hedges.  This is more rampant than being invited into someone’s home or into someone’s garden.

5. THE MARK OF A NON-NATIVE

Visitors to Sao Tome and Principe are not expected to know and observe their customs and etiquette.  If you greet them and walk away without inquiring about their welfare and that of their family, they will not take offense.  They’d just know you are not a native.

6. KNOWLEDGE OF PORTUGUESE

For visitors to Sao Tome and Principe, it would be a great advantage to speak even a tinsy-winsy bit of Portuguese.  If you can add gestures to what little Portuguese you can speak the people would appreciate it a lot and easily associate with you.

7. TALK NICE ABOUT

Many a native you associate with in Sao Tome and Principe will ask you what you think of their country.  One thing you must never forget to say in answer to that question is, “Muito lindo.”  It simply means, “Very nice.”  They love to hear that.

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8. COMMUNICATION STYLE

When it comes to their general communication system, the people of Sao Tome and Principe are very direct and straight to the point!  They are not used to the prevarication so prevalent in many West African countries.  Don’t ask a question unless you want and are ready for the direct answer.

9. MAIN MEATS

Traditional palm oil stew is the national dish.  And the main traditional food culture includes meats of fruit bats and monkey.  And as for fruits, the New World types such as papaya and guavas are most widespread and abundant.

10. PRUDENT WITH FOOD

When it comes to food, people of Sao Tome and Principe are prudent.  Whether rural or town, people generally eat a hot meal just before sun set.  But especially in the rural areas, breakfast is usually the left over from the dinner of previous night.

11. LAVISH FOOD OCCASIONS

Food is lavishly available at social and ceremonial occasions.  These include wedding, baptisms, and funerals.  The foods are usually arranged to be admire by guests.  The most abundantly available local drink is the palm wine.

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12. WOMEN-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS

In the country, at least one third of the households are headed by women.  Also, marrying a woman who has inherited land, or who has either money of her own or inherited money does not automatically give the husband access to such land of money.

13. CONJUGAL RELATIONSHIPS

Three main types of conjugal relationships are practiced in Sao Tome and Principe.  These are:

  • The monogamous marriage
  • The cohabitation
  • The visiting

Typically though, both men and women have several partners during their lifetimes and have children by such different partners.

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