On my tour around South Africa we also had about 2 days in Swaziland. We stayed very close to a traditional village – not just an act, but a village where they actually lived their lives the way they had always done. We were invited to come and have a look.
All us girls had to put on these red scarves with a picture of Swaziland’s king on the front. No need for the men.
We were asked to wait outside while our guide (from the village) went inside to announce our visit. A couple of minutes later we could go in.
Inside we were greeted by the (female) leader of the village, and many of the other inhabitants, both adults and children. Then they sat us down so they could tell us about how they led their lives, and show us their instruments for sleeping, getting water, making flour and lots of other things.
She was quite the character! She spoke in her own language and let our guide translate.
And then they made us dance! First us girls:
And then the men:
With the help of the kids (they were much better than the men):
Demonstration over, they opened up their little market so we could get us some Swaziland souvenirs.
I got myself a little elephant made out of soft stone that is currently sitting right next to me on my table. I thought it was pretty hard in general, in Africa, not to get something at the markets – so many beautiful (and cheap) things!
We joked a little with ‘oh, we’ve gone all this way to Swaziland just to take photos of cats’, but, what can you do. Cats are cute everywhere!
And so are the dogs..!
I think we were only in the village for maybe an hour and a half before we started getting back to our truck.
I was a little disappointed that we didn’t actually get to ‘visit the village’ as in walking between their houses, but only saw their main square, but for what it was it was definitely an interesting experience. It’s a culture that is vastly different from my own, not just in how they get by from day to day but in politics and family relations and so much else.
Have you been to Swaziland? Did you experience their traditional way of living? Comment below!