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Honeymoon in Benin

Where to go?

Situated in West Africa, Benin is a coastal open on the Atlantic Ocean to the south and neighboring Sahelian countries of NORD. It enjoys political stability, social peace and economic growth steadily increasing over the past decade. Benin is also a people to meet for its legendary hospitality. In Benin there are several types of tourism:

  • Cultural tourism throughout the national territory, through museums, royal palaces, traditional worship, songs and dances such as Genre Guèlèdè. The restoration of these museums and royal palaces is running as well as the construction of a national theater.
  • Eco-tourism in national parks and wildlife reserves of the northern region (Park and Park Pendjari W) for hunting and safari photos.
  • Tourism Congress and business tourism in urban centers.
  • The tourism resort on the coast in sand in a beautiful landscape of coconut palms. In itsAgenda, the Government of Benin has decided to make tourism a priority sector likely to spur sustainable economic and social development.

Thus, the Republic of Benin holds natural attractions, rich and varied, covering the entire national territory.

Culture

For many visitors, the rich cultural diversity of the people of Benin is one of the most interesting attractions of this country. Benin’s population, approximately 8 million inhabitants, is composed of over twenty different socio-cultural groups, each with its history, language and traditions. What remains constant among all the people of Benin, is the friendship and hospitality. The openness and warmth with which this remarkable people welcome foreigners and engage in conversation allow visitors to discover the culture of Benin on a personal level. Whether the bargain price of products with the vendors of the busiest market of Abomey or visit the famous Tata somba populations Betamaribé North, the most memorable memories that we will keep any visit to Benin undoubtedly come from local populations.

The South

The socio-cultural largest South are the Fon and Yoruba. Fon language is the predominant language in most parts of this region, although there are many other alternatives. The Goun for example, is very akin to Fon, similarly, Goun populations that are concentrated in South-East near Porto-Novo are very related to Fons. The Adja people are another group closely linked to Fons. They are concentrated in the Southwest in the Department of Couffo.

Historically, the Fon was one of the most powerful civilizations of West Africa. They are Fon who founded the kingdom of Dahomey, which dominated much of the history of Benin today before French colonization. Abomey a visit to the ancient capital of the kingdom of Dahomey is the best way to learn more about Fon. Here you can walk through the ruins of the palace as well as the Historical Museum which is a World Heritage site of the United Nations because of its historical and cultural significance. The Yoruba are concentrated in the South-East and Central Benin. Related to the famous Yoruba peoples of Nigeria, they constitute 12% of the population of Benin.

The North

Cultural groups the most important North Bariba, Dendi and Betamaribé. Bariba are from the northern part of Nigeria and are mainly concentrated in the North-East of Benin, around the city of Nikki. If farmers and ranchers for the most part, Bariba are particularly known for their creations and rich fabrics in bright colors that are woven by women and used as traditional clothing. The largest and most notable Bariba event is the annual festival celebrated in the Gaani Nikki.

Dendi are mainly concentrated in the northwest of Benin, between Parakou and Natitingou. It is estimated they have emigrated from the former empire of Mali before settling in Benin. They are mostly peasants, and they also raise cattle they put in the safe custody of Fulani nomads. The Fulani (or Peulh) is found throughout northern Benin. They are found often during the dry season when they move their livestock in search of water.

The last group in the North is the group of Betamaribé who are concentrated in the mountains of Atacora, north-west of Benin. This group is particularly known for its unique architectural style, “the Tatas somba” like small castles. These people, some of the most beautiful landscapes of Benin, are insights from the mountains of Natitingou, and Boukoumbé Tanguiéta.

Climate

It is a climate with four seasons:

  • A long rainy season from April to July,
  • A short dry season from August to September,
  • A small rainy season from October to November,
  • A long dry season from December to March.

Gastronomy

For many visitors, tasting the local cuisine Benin is a great way to “take the pulse” of culture. Like people, the local cuisine varies greatly from one region to another, and tasting some dishes of Benin can leave you with unforgettable memories.

La Cuisine du Sud-Benin

In the South, corn is the main staple food. It is used mostly for the manufacture of several different kinds of dough usually served with peanut sauce or tomato. The fish and chicken meat are most usually consumed in the South and are usually fried in oil palm or peanut. Like other meats, we have the mutton, rabbit, beef and agouti. Rice, couscous and beans are also widespread.

The seasonal fruits are very abundant in the South and include oranges, bananas, pineapples, mangoes and papayas.

Cooking in Northwest Benin

In the North, the yam is the staple food. Yam crushed eat with peanut sauce or tomato. The beef, pork and chicken are consumed the most and are usually fried or prepared sauce. Cheese is a specialty of the North. Rice, couscous and beans are also consumed. Depending on the season, there is abundant fresh mangoes and other fruits.

Some specialties

Akassa: paste of maize fermented with a sauce.

La pâte: The dough of corn dough, a little bland but to soak in one of the sauces.

Akpan: corn patties that are dipped in a sauce.

Amiwo: corn dough red. Less fade that separate the white car with a puree of tomatoes mixed with onions and peppers. Is also accompanied by a sauce.

Gari: pastry flour cassava finely minced, used a bit like Swiss cheese (no taste) on rice, or spaghetti sauce.

Fufu: pounded yam forming a paste with a slight taste, pleasant.

Aloko: as in all countries of the Gulf of Guinea, are trunks of fried plantain.

Moyo: sauce tomato, onions and peppers that often accompanies the fried fish.

Wagasi: There are around Pakarou but also in Mono, south-west, a cheese crust red reminiscent of the mozzarella. But here the cheese is fried and then dipped in a spicy sauce. Excellent!

Beye: cake-based roasted peanuts, then crushed and then kneaded with a little water to extract oil and turn it into pulp that we finally met in cooking oil obtained. Slightly spicy and crisp. Found in Zou (center) and the Mono region.

The drinks

Mineral water: thermal mineral water is bottled at the source of thermal Possotomé. It is strongly advised visitors to drink mineral water.

The juice of local and imported brands are available in restaurants and markets.

Soft drinks and beer are available in most bars and restaurants. Coca-Cola and Fizz who are local soft drinks are everywhere. Among the brands popular local beer, we are Benin, the Flag and Castel.

The Sodabi is a local alcohol made from palm wine. It is the local gin is consumed by many people during demonstrations and local celebrations. It is advisable for visitors to enjoy in moderation. It is akin to vodka.

The Tchoucoutou is a local beer and soft thick prepared in the North. It can be found easily in Parakou and is popular among indigenous as well as among visitors. 

Voodoo

The Voodoo is not only interested in men but in need. Hence the numerous and frequent ceremonies to various circumstances, very often repeated aimed essential to reconcile the favors of Voodoo and Manes ancestors.

Also, unlike the major religions imported, we do not pray for the soul of “those who have left this world” and “this valley of tears”, but rather, it asks the spirit of deceased heroes and ancestors, like Voodoo, seeking their intervention and action for the realization of intent for a living.

The deceased ancestors and Voodoo are contacted and asked to assist in the success and development of living by providing vital energy, virtue and the means necessary to achieve happy to individual projects, support, location, etc. It also uses them to protect a living question, upset or threatened by diverting to the misfortunes or difficulties that loom and weigh on his life, his profession, his future, his destiny, etc..

It will understand that such sacrifices rites relationship with Voodoo require meditation specialist called very badly about “fetishers.” It is true priests, through their experience, knowledge, training and status. They must necessarily acquire and possess, through appropriate training, the forces necessary for this vital function of mediator sacred.

These priests are a real clergy, though hierarchical, disciplined, with the methods and ceremony of initiation and consecration. They are in very influential priestly colleges significantly affecting the Psyco-social behavior of populations.

The rites are reduced essentially sacrifices-libations whose intent and purpose of mobilizing and transferring the “vital energy” and “cosmic forces” in the triple benefit of vodoun which it is intended, priest priest and the person for whom it serves. All this with “verb”, ie to liturgical and sacred words, since in philosophy, and especially black theology in Africa, the floor has an essential human and verb can be creative.

Besides the priests-du-vodoun must mention the existence of man particularly “gifted” and is qualified to interpret the wishes of the gods and therefore “know” and “tell” the future is to probe the causes and find the perpetrators of certain crimes.

They are called bokonon. They use the Fa (Oracle). Devins doubled géléralement healers, the bokonons fabliquent and are wearing rings, amulets, talisman of all kinds and various uses that the European vocabulary commonly called “gris-gris”.

All expressions of amine were Benin, for the slave trade, imported in the Americas. Already, many studies have been conducted establishing the exact similarity between religion and traditional Beninese voodoo cults currently prevalent and lived by example in Cuba, Brazil and Haiti.

However, it is important to stress that priests du Voodoo and “Bokonons” have nothing to do with witchcraft. This was the big mistake of Christian missionaries in Europe until recently. Unlike priests-du-Voodoo and “Bokonons” which are accepted, consulted and asked for the services they render to the community, wizards beings are possessed by evil desire for power and destruction and which, by therefore, fear, criticized, scorned and severely punished by society.

Source: benintourisme.com

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