The climate in Somalia is hot throughout the year with two dry and two wet seasons. Due to its proximity to the equator, there is no seasonal variation in its climate. The weather is hot all year round with periodic monsoon winds and irregular rainfall. The average temperature in the country ranges from 28°C to 32°C. Sometimes in the month of July, the temperature in the northern region surpasses more than 45°C. The weather conditions in Somalia ranges from arid in the northeastern and central regions to semiarid in the south and northwestern regions. Somalia’s pastoral and agricultural life revolves around four seasons. Somalia’s climate has two specific dry seasons; and these are Jiilaal and Xagaa. The first dry season Jiilaal is from the month of December to March and ‘Xagaa’ is from July to September. Gu and Dayr are the two distinct rainy seasons in Somalia climate. Gu starts from the month of April and lasts until June. Dayr is the shortest rainy season; it lasts from October to December.
Somali is the official language of Somalia. Majority of the total population of the country speak ‘Somali’. Somali dialects are divided into three main groups: Northern, Benadir and Maay. Northern Somali is used in the North Central regions. Benadir is spoken on the coastal regions of Benadir coast and in the capital city of Mogadishu. Maay is spoken by the inhabitants of the Southern regions of Somalia. The official national language of the country is Arabic; it is spoken and read for religious purposes. English is also spoken widely and taught to the people and a very small percentage of Somali’s speak Italian. The adults and the educated youth from the urban areas speak up to five or six languages. The other minority languages include Bravanese and Kibajuni which is spoken by the people in different regions of the country.
Somalia culture is highly influenced by the Islamic culture due to the Muslim rule in Somalia for a long period. Islam has two divisions or groups known as Siya and Sunni. The majority of the population belong to the Sunni group. Almost 100% of the Somali people follow Islam with a significant minority of people following Christianity. The people follow the practices associated with Islam. They do not consume pork products, nor drink alcohol and pray five times a day. The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu is the largest mosque in the country. Still in the southern parts of the country people belonging to non-Somali ethnic groups practice animism which includes the practice of possession dances and also the use of magic and curses.
The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu
The Somali cuisine is a mixture of Italian, Indian, native Somali, Yemeni, Persian, Turkish and Ethiopian influences. Rice is the staple food of the people in Somalia. To prepare rice based dishes many spices are used including cumin, cardamom, clove and cinnamon. Somali’s start their day with tea. The main dish consumed in the breakfast is Canjeero (a pancake like bread). Milk from camels, goats and cows is among the major food for the nomadic families. Lunch is the main dish comprising pasta or rice prepared with ingredients like cardamom, cloves or sage. Rice is also served with meat or fish on side. A variation of the Indian chapatti is also consumed by people with maraq and meat. Beverages comprise juices made of grapefruit, tamarind, and lemonade. Laas (lassi) is also among the common beverage that is consumed by the people during lunch. The most common dinner meal for the people of Somalia is Cambuulo, a dish made of adzuki beans which is mixed with butter and sugar. Among the deserts, Xalwo (halva) is the most popular dish prepared during Eid celebrations or wedding receptions. Alcohol and Pork is not consumed by the people of Somalia.
Somalia is one of the world’s poorest countries, but with its active trade transaction with other countries, it is slowly prospering. The rise in business markets has boosted the economy with good outcomes. The foreign trade transactions have resulted in urbanization of Somalia. The real estate business is booming as the cost of lands is increasing by the day, resulting in an active good business for the people. Despite lack of effective governance, Somalia maintains an informal economy, which is largely based on agriculture, livestock and telecommunications. Agriculture with livestock is the most important revenue generator. Livestock are exported to the countries in the Middle East. The nomads depend on it for their livelihood. The other principal exports of the country include fish, corn, sorghum, charcoal and bananas. The small-scale industries in Somalia are based on the processing of agricultural and food products. The other industries include manufacturing of mineral water, pasta, plastic bags, detergent, soap, mattresses, pillows, boats and aluminium. The telecommunication sector is among the strong areas of the economy in Somalia. The capital city of Mogadishu offers a wide variety of goods from food to newest electronic gadgets that are locally produced and sold. Despite this, the economic growth has yet to expand outside the capital city.
Somalia is inhabited by diverse variety of animal species. It is home to large number of birds and mammals. The bird species found only in this country include the Somali Pigeon, Ash’s Lark, the Somali Lark and the Lesser Hoopoe-Lark. Mammals unique to Somalia are Somali Hedgehog, the Somali Elephant Shrew, the Somali Golden Mole and endemic species like the Somali Pygmy Gerbil (Mircodillus peeli). The unique reptile species that are found in Somalia include Somali Garter Snake, Dotted House Snake, the Angled Worm Lizard, the Spiny-tailed Lizard and Diadem Snake. Exclusive Amphibians species unique to Somalia include a sand frog, Bullfrog and a ridged frog.