Sierra Leone is a beautiful country that has a dark history. However, the city is developing and becoming a popular place for tourists. Things are changing for Sierra Leone and for all good reasons. Before you plan a trip to this country, a bit of knowledge about the people and the place will help you in getting along with the locals well.
The national symbol for the country is the Cotton Tree. It has a lot to do with the history of the country and its capital Freetown. When the African-American slaves landed on the shoreline, they walked up to this giant tree and made their first thanksgiving service to thank God for the free land. That is when the tree became their national symbol.
Locals love radios
Radios are still popular in Sierra. They enjoy listening to news and music on their radios. Over 85% of locals have access to radios, and over 70% of locals listen to radio on a daily basis. So if you want to offer them anything as a gift, you know what to carry with you.
The civil war
Sierra Leone suffered a ten-year-long civil war from 1991 to 2001. Over 50,000 people died during this time. Multiple countries were fighting to gain control over Sierra Leone. As a result, over two million people moved to neighboring countries during this time. In 2001, the UN forced the rebel soldiers to disarm and bring the war to an end.
Sierra Leone is famous for two things – mangoes and diamonds. The third-largest gem-quality diamond was found in the country in 1972. Sierra Leone is among the top ten diamond-producing countries in the world. This is also one of the reasons why the land has been in dispute for a long time.
The cassava plant
Cassava is used as a herb in almost all households in Sierra Leonean. It is used for making a green stew that also contains meat or fish. The roots of cassava are used for making bread. When you are in Sierra Leone, you must try out this special plant that takes a lot of work to prepare.
The parliament building
The parliament building of Sierra Leone was built by the Israeli government. The building overlooks the Freetown harbor and has a dome-like structure that looks amazing.
In 1787, 400 former slaves were sent to Freetown to settle down. Although many of these settlers died, a few of them build the first-ever community. In 1792, the British once again sent 1,200 slaves from Canada to Sierra Leone. Freetown is home to the decendants of the early settlers and tribes, including Mende and Temne.