Lesotho Culture and Tradition

Why does my hat look so good on me?

A hat with a cone shape is known and loved in Lesotho. This hat is called Mokorotlo and its shape corresponds to a well-known rock in the country, which bears the name Qiloane. This rock is of great importance for the Basotho because the important kings of Lesotho are buried here.

The hats are made of straw and are held together with knots that are artfully braided. This hat is also the national symbol of the country. The national flag of Lesotho also shows the hat in the middle. You can also spot the hat on the country’s license plate.

Round huts covered with straw

Many people in the country still maintain the old traditional customs. The village is very important here and each village has its own boss. This is the chief, kind of a mayor for the village. Most of the villages consist of round huts with thatched roofs.

The ways are often long, mostly there are no tarred roads, only trails. Cars drive almost exclusively in the city. In the country, many people also move on horseback or donkeys. In this mountainous country it is often up and down the mountain and the distances are great, even from the village to the school. The horses then also help with the field work.

Everyone in Lesotho has to work hard, even the children. In the following video you get to know the girl Karabo, a typical girl from Lesotho with her grandmother and her two brothers. She is nine years old. You will find out what their life and everyday life look like. For more articles on Lesotho and Africa, please visit naturegnosis.

Who is Karabo?

Karabo is nine years old and lives in the mountains near the town of Morija. Her father died unexpectedly of illness and her mother works in a clothing factory in Maseru to support the family. Like many in Lesotho, Karabo has quite a bit of work to do.

What does a day at Karabo look like?

At half past five in the morning Karabo runs to a spring to fetch water. This is almost a kilometer from her house. Next she goes into the garden where the family grows their own food. After completing all of the tasks here, she leaves for school, which starts at eight o’clock. Education has only recently become free in the country. When that wasn’t the case, girls like Karabo couldn’t go to school. Typical subjects in Lesotho are: Sesotho, social studies, health, English, agriculture, home economics and math.

What does a school day look like Karabos?

The class has English lessons for the first lesson. The children learn about life in Great Britain. Sometimes there are up to 70 children in a class, which is why it can get haywire. After the first few hours there is time for a break. Like other kids, Karabo and her friends love to run around outside and have fun.
Karobo says: “This is a friend of mine, her name is Reitumetse.” “Hello!” “When we are together, we like to play marounders, tennis, netball, hopscotch, tiki twani or skipping. I like these games. ”

After the break, lessons continue. Karabo and her class now have math and geography where they learn a lot about other African countries. Then it is time for a snack break. The children get bread and soup from the school staff. So you don’t bring your food with you, you get it at school. For some of the children this is the only meal of the day. In the afternoon, the children are taught how to grow food at home and work in the garden. This is very important knowledge for the people of Lesotho.

The school day ends at 2 p.m. On the way home, Karabo quickly goes to Morija’s shops and buys food for herself and her family that they cannot grow in their own garden. You can buy delicious oranges at a small street stall. She gets things like salt in a mini market. Such shops are similar to those you know from home.

What is there to do after school?

When Karabo arrives home after shopping, she still has a lot to do before she can sit back and relax. First, Karabo examines the keyhole garden. This is a very special garden in which vegetables and other plants can grow. One can recycle material in the earth and all these gardens are to be maintained equally so that the villagers can help one another. In addition, aid workers come to Lesotho and show people how best to plant their land. That’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. Healthy vegetables make people feel full and stay healthy. “Chillis, cabbage, spinach and beetroot grow in our keyhole garden,” explains Karabo.

What to eat

When Karabo is done in the garden, it will be meal time. Because Karabo is the only girl, she is expected to cook for the family from the vegetables in the garden. Some of the dishes are also popular in Europe. Others, however, really nobody here knows.
“This is our daily food. In this pot I have Mealie Meal. We in Lesotho call it papa. There’s cooked pumpkin in here, we call it mokopu. There’s cabbage in this pot, and soup in here. ”

After eating, it’s time to go to bed. But before that, she still has to do her math homework. She also helps her brother study. Karabo works very hard for the school because she knows that she needs good grades to get a good degree and later get a job.

After a tiring day, Karabo goes to bed and wonders what life is like for children elsewhere in the world, for example in Great Britain or Germany. She falls asleep quickly and recovers for the next busy day, which is likely to be like today.

Lesotho Culture

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