Stroll back through the romantic heritage of your ancestors with this timeline of love, marriage, and dating customs throughout history. Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially, possibly as friends or with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability. Read the rules of the Jewish dating game. Building a strong marriage relationship actually begins with a proper approach to dating. A act increases security of tenure by recording rights of inheritance and allowing mortgaging and subletting of land. Okay, I am sure many anr you are Dating and marriage customs. Land Tenure and Property. The basics are the same—people are people everywhere—but there are still a few differences regarding culture and social cues to note. I am often asked about how Russian sizes Dating and marriage customs rings correspond to western ones. The line of descendants is through the male, and members of the same clan are allowed to marry relatives as close as cousins. It is best to not have preconceived ideas about a person.
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Both names derive from the common language, Sotho, which was spoken by the many groups which united to form the nation in the early s. Lesotho is often referred to as "The Kingdom in the Sky" or "The Switzerland of southern Africa" because of the stark beauty of its rugged mountainous terrain. It is also described as "The Hostage State" due to the unfortunate situation of being completely surrounded by and dependent upon the Republic of South Africa.
Covering 11, square miles 30, square kilometers , the Kingdom of Lesotho is approximately the size of Maryland. The area is ruggedly mountainous, landlocked, and completely surrounded by The Republic of South Africa. It lies between latitudes 28 degrees and 31 degrees south and longitudes 27 degrees and 30 degrees east. The lowlands in the west and south rise from forty-five hundred feet fifteen-hundred meters to the highlands of the Maluti and Drakensberg mountain ranges whose highest point, Thabana Ntlenyana, is approximately 10, feet thirty-five hundred meters.
Lesotho is unique as being the only nation in the world with all of its land situated more than 3, feet one thousand meters above sea level. The terrain consists of high veld, plateau, and mountains. The climate is temperate with hot summers and cool to cold winters.
A long rainy season during the summer months December to February combined with freezing conditions in the winter June to August creates adverse travel conditions which isolate much of the highland areas.
A wealth of rivers and waterfalls makes Lesotho valuable to the surrounding arid industrial areas of South Africa. The soils are poor, a result of over-grazing, over-cropping, and serious erosion, with only one-eighth of the land being arable.
The population of Lesotho, in , was estimated to be 2,, with a growth rate of 1. The people of Lesotho are called Basotho plural and Mosotho singular. The culture is cohesive, with Basotho comprising over 99 percent of the country's population, the remainder being of Asian of European origin. Most Asians are traders while the Europeans are businessmen, technicians, government officials, missionaries, and teachers.
The highlands are sparsely populated with most of the administrative headquarters and towns located in the lowlands area. Sesotho was one of the first African languages to develop a written form and it has an extensive literature. English is the second official language, dating back to when Lesotho was placed under the British for protection against South African aggression.
Zulu and Xhosa are spoken by a small minority. The spectacular scenery of Lesotho's rugged mountains, massive gullies called dongas , and sparkling waterfalls create a tourist's dream destination.
Picturesque villages, herdboys with their flocks, men on horseback, and women wearing the national dress of Moshoeshoe depicted in the Lesotho angora wool wall hangings and rugs of Basotho fame. The Basotho hat, a conical woven hat with a distinctive topknot, is a symbol of Lesotho's unification.
Both men and women invariably wear the wool Basotho blanket as a cloak, regardless of the season. The careful selection of color and pattern allows for individual expression. Everywhere in Lesotho one will see the small, sturdy Sotho pony, adept at negotiating the steep mountains and gullies and indispensable for carrying the grain to the mill for grinding.
The nation's flag, adopted in , has diagonal stripes of white, blue, and green. White is symbolic for peace khotso , blue for rain pula , and green for plenty nala.
A shield that is part of the country's coat of arms appears in the upper left diagonal space. The national anthem is "Lesotho, Land of our Fathers" Lesotho fatse la bontat'a rona. Emergence of the Nation. Lesotho was originally inhabited by the Bushmen who roamed southern Africa, as evidenced by the Bushmen drawings and paintings in the river gorges.
During the s and s, tribal wars in southern Africa decimated many tribes. Survivors of the wars fled into the highlands of what is now Lesotho and, under the leadership of an African chief named Moshoeshoe, formed the current Basotho ethnic group.
Moshoeshoe established fortresses in the mountains and consolidated the Sotho-speaking inhabitants into a nation in the early s. During the middle of the s, the Basotho nation lost much of its territory to the Boers in a series of wars. Moshoeshoe appealed to Great Britain for protection and the remaining area became a British protectorate.
In the nation gained independence and the constitutional monarchy of Lesotho was established. Moshoeshoe II, great-grandson of Moshoeshoe I, was installed as king and head of state, and Leabua Jonathan served as prime minister and head of government.
Although Lesotho has undergone politic strife and change during the past thirty years, the Basotho are bonded by a deep reverence for the royal family and a fierce determination to remain an independent nation. Lesotho is a very homogenous nation, both in terms of the ethnic makeup of its population as well as religion and culture.
Lesotho's strong cultural identity does not translate into a strong national identity, however, since its location deep in the heart of South Africa has historically forced the small country into dependence on its much larger neighbor. The Sotho ethnic group comprises almost percent of Lesotho's population. The homogeneous makeup of the country has allowed Lesotho to avoid much of the civil unrest that has plagued other African nations with more ethnically diverse populations.
Over 80 percent of the population live in the lowlands where soil conditions are more favorable for agriculture. The western border of Lesotho has one of the highest population densities in Africa. Maseru ma-SAY-roo , population of ,, is the capital city, located in this western border area.
Political strife in resulted in a frenzy of looting and burning which destroyed the main thoroughfare and infrastructure of Maseru. Although much rebuilding has occurred, many historical buildings were lost.
Other semi-urban areas are called "camptowns" and are very rustic in appearance. The main camptowns are Teyateyaneng, population twenty-four thousand; Leribe, population three-hundred thousand; Mafeteng, population ,; Mohale's Hoek, population , Most Basotho live in villages of fewer than people. The cattle pen krall is the nucleus of family groups who build their huts in a spaced fashion around the pen.
Traditional huts are constructed of mud and dung walls with thatched roofs. These round houses rondovals are often decorated with bright designs. Each village has a meeting place khotla where business is conducted.
The areas around the villages are owned in common by the people and the land is assigned by the chief for family farming. Food in Daily Life. A three-stone fireplace in the courtyard is the focal point of the Basotho women's daily activity.
Here they prepare the pot of cornmeal porridge pap-pap which is the staple of the Basotho. Usually a sauce of peas, chopped greens, or other vegetables accompanies the thick porridge, and on special occasions a chicken is added to the pot. During the summer season, local peaches, and small, hard fruits add variety to the diet. In the winter, family members sit around the three-stone fireplace and roast ears of dried corn.
A local beer joale is brewed in a large vat placed on the three-stone fireplace. This beer is the center of informal neighborhood gatherings and provides a small income for the family. Milk is often served as a soured drink. Maseru has a number of modern restaurants that are mostly patronized by business and professional people and tourists. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. In the villages, cultural rites are predominately centered around the sacrifice of a cow.
Funerals often drain a poor family's assets as a cow must be purchased at great expense. A family's honor is dependent on the quality and quantity of food at wedding and funeral gatherings—spit-roasted cow and chicken are mandatory. Lesotho is a developing country with a free-market economy. It boasts few natural resources and is dependent on imported food and materials to meet the basic needs of the population.
Nearly all families engage in subsistence farming, consisting mostly of corn, wheat, peas, and beans, but the depleted soil does not yield sufficient crops to feed them.
Lesotho's economy is fragile, even with the benefits it derives from South Africa which include a partially shared customs union, a single currency the South African rand is used interchangeably with the Lesotho loti , and an integrated communications system.
A major sustaining factor in the country's economy is employment found in South African mines, farms, and industries. Approximately 35 percent of active male wage earners work most of the year in surrounding South Africa, resulting in family income but having a detrimental effect on family life. In the United Nations Development Program's ranking of countries of the world in , which considers the factors of life expectancy, income, education, and health care, Lesotho ranked th out of countries.
Land Tenure and Property. All land is held in trust for the Basotho nation by the king and may not be alienated. The local chiefs allocate farmland to individuals, and user rights are generally available to married males. A act increases security of tenure by recording rights of inheritance and allowing mortgaging and subletting of land. Lesotho's abundance of cattle, sheep, and goats provides a basis for a wool and mohair industry. Although there are no other large industries, small industries and businesses are supported by national and foreign assistance and are having some success.
Perhaps the most promising, although highly controversial, effort to improve the economy is the Highlands Water Project which is designed to utilize the nation's valuable resource of water to provide electricity, employment, and economic development for the general population. The project involves the construction of a series of six dams and hundreds of miles of tunnels to funnel water into the arid industrial areas of nearby South Africa, for which Lesotho will receive monetary compensation.
The controversy arising from the project revolves around the detrimental effect of the relocation of area communities, the delayed compensation for the loss of ancestral lands, Women roll barrels and carry buckets containing materials needed for the construction of a reservoir.
Lesotho has a wide variety of light industries, which include tire retreading, tapestry weaving, diamond processing, and production of textiles, electric lighting, candles, ceramics, explosives, furniture, and fertilizers. Imported items are primarily corn, clothing, building materials, vehicles, petroleum products, machinery, and medicines.
Exports include clothing, furniture, footwear, and wool products. Symbols of Social Stratification. Cattle represent wealth in Lesotho and the Basotho value cows above money. The wealthy villager usually lives in a concrete block house with a metal roof instead of a rondoval, and usually has two outdoor bathrooms as opposed to the single outhouse other families possess and often share. The very wealthy send their children to private schools and often to the one university in Lesotho at Roma, or to England or Canada for further education.
In the villages, an automobile is an unusual and significant symbol of upper social status. The government of Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy with the capital in Maseru. The country is divided into ten administrative districts. The legal system is based on English common law and Roman Dutch law.