"Racism... oh yes there is!" Top 5 Page for this destination Sudan Warnings Or Dangers Tip by mafi_moya

Sudan Warnings and Dangers: 51 reviews and 35 photos

Most people who've been to Sudan will tell you that the Sudanese are the friendliest and most welcoming people in the world. In fact I said it myself on the 'must-see' page. I totally agree... but I'm coming at it from the perspective of a white Western tourist. If I was black and from South Sudan I'd have a very different opinion.

Sudan (although the Northern Sudanese will furiously deny this) is a very racist country and, generally, the blacker a person's skin the more inferior they are seen to be. That's not to say that everyone is an out-and-out racist, but there is a general attitude that's easy to see. Often it's simply a matter of ignorance and misconceptions of other races and cultures, rather than deep-rooted hatred.

But, having experienced such great hospitality, it comes as a shock to witness such racism. Blacks of course face harrassment from police and so on, but its when people you know and like surprise you that it's most shocking. For example, I was good friends with one of the food sellers on Souk Arabi, a wonderfully generous man. Then one day I found him beating the hell out of one of the little southern street kids. I grabbed him and stopped him and he was amazed at why on earth I would be bothered.

I remember a young black man getting hit by a bus in Khartoum. The bus was going at no more than walking speed and the man wasn't even knocked over - simply dazed and he staggered about a bit, seemingly concussed. It all brought hoots of laughter and derision from many of the passers-by. Compare this with the reaction if it had been myself, or a northerner. Another time in Souk Arabi, a clearly mentally ill black man was seen taking leftover scraps of food from the stalls and he was chased with huge sticks around the market and beaten...

There are many more examples I could use, but suffice to say that the Sudanese can sometimes be a little too smug about congratulating themselves on their friendliness.

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 6, 2004
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mafi_moya

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