There are many reasons why you should visit Malawi, but perhaps the country's greatest asset is its people. Malawians are arguably some of the friendliest people in the world and every visitor will be welcomed with a hearty smile on arrival in Malawi. Malawians are very friendly, calm, pleasant and hospitable. The character and generosity of Malawians is the reason why Malawi is known as the 'Warm Heart of Africa'.
The charm of Malawi doesn’t solely rely on hospitality. Malawi's mix of cultures - drums, dance, masks and languages - continue to fascinate visitors. Locals welcome the interest in their daily life and few visitors will leave without experiencing some of Malawi's traditional elements. Many Malawians are descendants of the Bantu people who migrated to Malawi across Africa for hundreds of years until the 15th century. Malawi is home to more than 12 different ethnic groups, each of which is represented by unique traditional dances, rituals and arts and crafts. The largest ethnic group is the Chewa, whose mother tongue, Chichewa, is predominantly spoken in Malawi.
Masks are commonly used in various dances and ceremonies, but these are usually specific to the ethnic group with the most known being the 'Gule Wamkulu' performed by the Nyau of the Chewa. Malawian dances have a deeper meaning than superficial ones and have therefore been handed
down to the present day as part of Malawi's cultural heritage.
Many visitors fondly mention that the highlight of their journey to Malawi was the Malawians they met in the villages and at the markets. And many return because they feel Malawi is their second home. Wewelcome you with all our hearts. Come and visitMalawi, the Warm Heart of Africa.
The official language of Malawi is English, but the national language is Chichewa
which is spoken particularly in the south and central regions of the country. In the north,
Chitumbuka is the most widely spoken language. There are many other languages,
including Yao, Ngoni and Nyanja. Chichewa is classified as a Bantu language, which
includes almost all languages spoken in sub-equatorial Africa, including 40 languages
indigenous to Malawi. Many Bantu languages share a common pronunciation, grammar
and a closely related vocabulary and speakers of other Bantu languages such as Swahili,
Shona and Zulu can recognize many similar and identical words in Chichewa. English
is the official language in education, and Malawians in urban areas speak English
fluently. Even in rural areas, people rarely encounter the linguistic communication
barriers found in other African countries.
Malawians are, by and large, honest, conservative, good-humored, and
mild-tempered. They tend to be quiet and are always smiling. The Malawian
traits of discipline, hard work, and perseverance come from a long tradition
of strict social discipline that is imparted from birth. Children in Malawi
learn to fear and respect elders. These attitudes are implanted at different
stages of life, but the most important time for this is at puberty, when both
girls and boys undergo community counseling. For strangers, this strict
disciplinary code translates into warmth and helpfulness. Visitors are
welcomed with open arms, offered meals and, where necessary, a typical
Malawian village as a community will host or help a total stranger. The
legendary hospitality of Malawians is well known to people who have
visited or worked in Malawi.
Since 1994, Malawi has been a multi-party democracy. The President is both head of state and head of government, elected by universal suffrage every five years and can serve up to two terms. The Cabinet is appointed by the President and executive power is exercised by the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the National Assembly,
while the judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches. Local government is exercised in 28 districts within three regions, with administrative officers and district commissioners that are appointed by the central government. People aged 18 and above have the right to vote.
Gule Wamkulu was initially performed by members of the Nyau brotherhood which is a secret society of initiated Chewa men, at the request of the village chief around the 17th century. In modern times, it is mainly performed at funerals and memorial services, and also at celebrations such as chiefs' inaugurations, weddings and after the harvest.
Vimbuza is a dance performed to heal mental illness as part of traditional healing and is
popular among the Tumbuka people of northern Malawi.
Tchopa is a dance practiced by the Lomwe community in southern Malawi. It is commonly performed in celebration of a good harvest or successful hunting, or during dedications to ancestral spirits after calamities such as drought or disease outbreaks.
Mganda has its origins in the system of military parades and musical bands introduced to Nyasaland (now Malawi) by British officers of the Kings' African Rifles (KAR) during
the colonial period.