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THE PEOPLE OF UGANDA
Ugandans are warm, friendly, and full of humour - despite the traumatic period of wars and great suffering they went through. They are anxious to make friends with visitors and are continually asking guests whether they are comfortable and enjoying themselves. If the answer is 'no', they will go any length to please and assist in any way possible. In a way, they seem to be reciprocating the warm reception many of them got from the countries near and far when they were forced into exile. One of the proverbs in many of the Bantu dialect is 'Omusajja gyagenda gyasanga banne', literally meaning 'Wherever a man goes he will find friendly people',
A large number of people speak English, which was introduced into the country in the 1880s, when what is now Uganda was British administration. Some Ugandans speak the 'Queen's English much better than the native English the people do. Although English and Swahili have been recognised as the country's official languages by the National Constitution, promulgated in November 1995, English is the only true lingua franca, as Swahili is seldom spoken. Ugandans - particularly those who have never received any formal education, also speak some 30 indigenous languages, largely in the rural areas. The two main indigenous languages spoken in the country are Luganda and Luo.
English is the main language of instruction in most schools and colleges. Swahili is rarely spoken anywhere except in the make-places and by the country's armed forces, including the regular police and army. You might expect Swahili to be widely spoken and be a unifying factor among the three main East African nations of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.
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