Monday, June 9, 2014

Zam-definition I

Zam-tan: a msungu (white person) tan that appears to have a movie start tan until they take take off their kitenge (wrap) or trousers, tee-shirt, and Teva sandals and everything that's covered up is unsightly pale.

The word 'msungu' is used by Zambians meaning white person. It is not an offensive word even though it sounds like one.

A kitenge is a wrap worn as a full-length skirt worn by women. Zambians traditionally wear kitenges and the material comes in multiple designs. They can be very fashionable. Kitanges have over a hundred uses, such as a sling to carry their babies, a head wrap, towel, apron, a head cushion when women carry heavy loads on their heads, and a cloth to sit on the ground which is necessary because traditionally at gatherings men sit on stools or chairs while women sit on the ground or floor.

Not only do women in Zambia cover their legs and shoulders, but men cover their legs, too, with trousers. Men rarely expose their legs.

The word 'pants' is used when referring to underwear.

Zambians dress conservatively, though in the cities men and women tend to be more liberal with dress.

One of the things I appreciate about Zambian society is breastfeeding is socially accepted and it is common to see women breastfeed their babies in public.

It is offensive for women to expose armpit hair. If a woman doesn't shave her armpits she has to cover up.
                                                        Those aren't my feet, btw.

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