Culture of Eritrea
The typical Kitcha fit-fit is presented here with a scoop of fresh yogurt and
topped with berbere (spice).
Main article: Culture of Eritrea
Cuisine of Ethiopia and Music of Ethiopia
The Eritrean region has traditionally been a nexus for trade throughout the world. Because of this, the influence of diverse cultures can be seen throughout Eritrea. Today the most obvious influences in the capital, Asmara, are those of Italy. Throughout Asmara, there are small cafes serving beverages common in Italy. In Asmara, there is a clear merging of the Italian colonial influence with the traditional Tigrinya lifestyle. In the villages of Eritrea, these changes never took hold.
In the cities, before the occupation and during the early years, the import
of Bollywood films was commonplace, while Italian and American films were available
in the cinemas as well. In the 1980s and since independence, however, American
films have become the most common. Vying for market share are films by local
producers, who have slowly come into their own. The global broadcast of Eri-TV
has brought cultural images to the large Eritrean population in the Diaspora
that visits the country every summer. Successful domestic films are produced
by government and independent studios with revenue from ticket sales typically
covering the production costs.
A traditional Nilotic Kunama herder posing for a picture near Barentu, Zoba Gash-Barka.
Traditional Eritrean dress is quite varied, with the women of most lowland ethnicities traditionally dressing in brightly colored clothes, while the Tigrinya traditionally dress in bright white costumes. Of the Muslim ethnicities, only the Arab or Rashaida tribeswomen maintain a tradition of covering their faces.
Popular sports in Eritrea include football and bicycle racing. In recent years Eritrean athletes have seen increasing success in the international arena.
Almost unique on the African continent is the Tour of Eritrea, whose first race was created by the Italians in 1946. The Tour is a bicycle race from the hot desert beaches of Massawa, up the winding mountain highway with its precipitous valleys and cliffs, to the capital Asmara. From there it continues downwards onto the western plains of the Gash-Barka Zone, only to return to Asmara from the south.
Recently long-distance running has garnered its own supporters. The momentum for long-distance running in Eritrea can be seen in the successes of Zersenay Tadese.