Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Angola TV to be Digitally Tuned!

Angola could become, in 2012, the first African country endowed with a state-of-art Japanese digital TV system to be installed within the framework of cooperation with the Country of Japan.The news of this project was confirmed on December 23 of last week by the Japanese ambassador to Angola, Ryozo Myoi, after meeting with the Vice President of Angola, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos.  Japan has installed a similar system in Brazil in 2006, and represents the most advanced terms of television broadcast technology.    The project has been approved by the international telecommunications organizations and pending the finals approvals of the Angolan government, will be initiated in 2012.

The Japanese digital TV system called ISDB (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting Terrestrial) is touted as the most flexible to respond better to the needs of mobility and portabilityIn addition to sending digital television signals,  the system allows transmission of data for mobile phones, computers and the websites of television programs, among other possibilities.The Japanese ambassador said, however, which are in final negotiations for an agreement on investment protection, considering the determinant to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Currently there are eight Japanese companies currently operating in Angola, but Ambassador Ryozo Myoi is confident that this number will increase rapidly with the signing of investment protection protocol, recognizing the market entry of Angolan banks into Japan. 
The diplomat said that Angola annually exports to Japan about 20 million dollars in oil, while the reverse turnover stands at 200 million, primarily in the motor vehicle trade.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Angolan Teeth Alterations

The practice of tooth filing and intentional tooth extraction is a longstanding cultural practice among some Angolan tribes, notable the Himba people living in the southern regions.

Anthropologists speculate that the Angolan teeth filing practice is a remarkable cultural hangover dating back to slavery. From 1575 onwards, Portuguese slavers shipped Angolans in shameful quantities to Brazil. As slaves were partly valued by the quality of their teeth, the local tribes took to intentionally despoiling their teeth to dissuade an attraction by Angolan slave gatherers. The practice still remains today, centuries after abolition.

Normally in Himba men, their two front incisors filed into a v-shaped notch revealing a triangular gap whenever they smile.  In Himba women, this ‘v’ is equally produced as well as the removal of the four central bottom front teeth.  Though the Himba women see these dental alterations as a feature of beauty, there is speculation that the bottom teeth are knocked out or filed to mimic that of a cow, in deference to their animistic cow worship rituals.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Angola's Queens of the Court

Basketball is Angola's most popular sport.  Angola’s female basketball team recently won the African Championship trophy in Mali qualifying them for the 2012 London Olympics. It was Angola’s first female continental basketball title and gained them automatic qualification for the London Olympic Games next year.

President José Eduardo dos Santos congratulated the team, describing the triumph as “a result of collective action and the victorious spirit of the Angolan people.”

The Angolan victory was all the sweeter as it came over Senegal, the reigning and ten-times champions of Afrobasket. On no fewer than five occasions, Angola’s best position in the competition had been third place, a feat repeated in the previous two championships.

Large crowds gathered at Luanda Airport for the team’s home- coming. Team captain Nacissela Maurício, trophy in hand, was first to emerge from the aircraft and led a 20-vehicle celebratory cavalcade in an open-top bus through the city, with hundreds of motorcyclists providing a noisy escort.

Nacissela was voted ‘most valued player’ in the championship and was also named a member of the competition’s dream team. (Sonangol Universo Magazine)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Angola Humor 6

See another example of a daily comic page from Journal de Angola, a daily Angola newspaper. This comic strip highlights the increasing rate of motorcycle accidents in Angola, which was recently rated as one of the highest accident rates in Africa.

Translation:  "The motorcycles never stop at red traffic lights!"
                                         "The bikers only stop at the cemetery!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Angolan Christmas Tradition; 'Bolo-rei'

To celebrate the end of the year and the coming New Year, an Angolan Christmas tradition is the eating of ‘bolo-rei’ (translated ‘king-cake’);  a sweet, Portuguese cake.

The tradition of the bolo-rei began in France in the seventeenth century; it arrived in Portuguese lands in the late nineteenth century and never left.

The cake receipe is simple: a light yeast dough, filled with raisins, nuts and dried fruits, prepared in such a way as to resemble a crown. But it is laden with symbolism. The sweet that Portugal spread around the world (including towards Angola and Brazil) is an allusion to the three wise men (hence the form of a crown) and is stuffed with a fava bean and a present. The person “rewarded” with the slice containing the fava bean, it is usually designated to prepare the cake for the following year. Whoever receives the slice with the surprise has the right to make a special request and will have luck and wealth in that year.

Play and superstitions aside, the candy became a tradition and it begins to be eaten since the night of Christmas until the Three Kings’ Day, on January 6th. As a curiosity: the gâteau des rois, as the cake is called in France, is completely different as the French cake is made of puff pastry.  In spite of this, the legend surrounding its shape is the same. (TAAG Austral Magazine)