Historically known as the land of ‘Lion Mountains’ in Portuguese, Sierra Leone is one of Africa’s most beautiful coastal peninsulas. In the west, Sierra Leone has 400km of coastline rich in marine life. The country is also blessed with low lying mangrove swamps, rain-forested plains and fertile farmlands, and finally a mountainous plateau in the east.
The capital Freetown sits on a coastal peninsula situated next to the world's largest natural harbour.
Sierra Leon is home to many ethnic groups such as the Mendes, Temnes, Lokos, Susus, Krus and the Creoles. A wide variety of nationalities are also resident in Sierra Leone contributing to its multicultural society. It is therefore not unusual for a child growing up to learn several different languages.
Krio, the language of the Creoles is the lingua franca in Sierra Leone. It is widely spoken in Freetown but not so much in the rural areas. The language orinated from the freed slaves from America and Europe who returned to Sierra Leone after slavery was abolished. .
For almost all Sierra Leoneans, rice is the staple food, consumed at all meals. It is often said that if one hasn’t eaten rice that day, then they haven’t eaten at all! Other foods are eaten – a wide variety of sea food, potatoes, cassava etc. – but they are not considered ‘real meals’ but merely snacks. Rice dishes can be prepared in so many ways with a variety of sauces, made from a combination of potato leaves, hot red peppers, peanut beans, okro, fish, beef, chicken and egg plant.
Almost all ceremonial occasion demand for the preparation of large platters of rice distributed to guests until they are full.