Blog About Random Country #1 Sierra Leone
Last updated: Monday May 3rd, 2021
About This Series
I found a website called random.country. As the name suggests, the site randomly selects a country. And I thought I can write a blog about a random country. I opened the website and it chose Sierra Leone for me. That’s why I write a blog about Sierra Leone. Let's go to the blog now!
Origin of the Name
The country takes its name from the Lion Mountains near Freetown. Originally named Serra Leoa (Portuguese for 'lioness mountains') by Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra in 1462, the modern name is derived from the Italian spelling, which was introduced by Venetian explorer Alvise Cadamosto and subsequently copied by other European mapmakers.
The national flag of Sierra Leone is a tricolour consisting of three horizontal green, white and blue bands. It was adopted in 1961. In 1960, the College of Arms formulated and then approved of a new flag and coat of arms for Sierra Leone, in anticipation of the colony's independence the following year. The arms was designed first, and its predominant colours of green, white, and blue were subsequently used in the creation of the flag. It was first hoisted at midnight on 27 April 1961, the day Sierra Leone became an independent country. Two years later, the government passed a law making it illegal to "insult" the country's flag, along with the flags of "friendly" nations.
It is bordering to Guinea to the northeast; Liberia to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest. Sierra Leone covers an area of 71,740 km2 (or 27.69897 sq mi) and has a population of 6,296,803.It has 14 districts and 2 areas. Sierra Leone’s capital and most populous city is Freetown. Freetown is the only city that population is over one million. Other big cities are Kenema, Bo, Koidu and Makeni.
Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, between the 7th and 10th parallels north of the equator. Highest point of Sierra Leone is Mount Bintumani at 1,945 m (or 6,381 ft) elevation. Largest lake is Lake Sonfon with 8.2 km2 (or 3.2 sq mi) surface area.
Archaeology findings show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited for thousands of years. But I'm not going to start and tell about its history on this blog that old, because if I did that, the blog would be too long. I’ll start with colonisation. In 1787, British philanthropists founded the “Province of Freedom” which later became Freetown, a British crown colony and the principal base for the suppression of the slave trade. By 1792, 1200 freed slaves from Nova Scotia joined the original settlers, the Maroons. Another group of slaves rebelled in Jamaica and travelled to Freetown in 1800. Sierra Leone achieved independence on the 27th of April 1961. the country attained republican status on the 19th April 1971. The 90’s brought successive civil disturbances culminating into a ghastly RUF rebel war that led to the intervention of the International Community led by the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL). Various international organisations helped provide an environment for free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections of 2002. The war has been officially over since 2002 and the process of rebuilding Sierra Leone and re-establishing its failed institutions is currently underway.
Religion and Ethnic Groups
Sierra Leone is officially a secular state. Islam and Christianity are the two main religions in the country. According to a 2020 estimates by the Pew Research Center 78.5% of Sierra Leone's population are Muslims (mostly Sunni), 20.4% are Christians (mostly Protestants) and 1.1% belong to a traditional African religion or other beliefs. Sierra Leone is home to about sixteen ethnic groups, each with its own language. The largest and most influential are the Temne at about 35.5% and the Mende at about 33.2%. The Temne predominate in the Northern Sierra Leone and the some areas around the capital of Sierra Leone. The Mende predominate in South-Eastern Sierra Leone (except Kono District).
Sierra Leone is a multilingual country. English is the de facto official language, and Krio is the most widely spoken.
Other major languages include Mende, which is spoken by 31% of the population as a mother tongue and as a lingua franca in southern Sierra Leone, and Temne, which is spoken by 37% as a mother tongue and also as a lingua franca in the northern province, north Western province, and other part of Sierra Leone and some part of the Capital and the Western Area. Other languages include Kono, Kissi, Kuranko, Limba, Fula (Pular), Mandingo and Susu.
Although English, as the official language, is spoken in schools, government administration and the media, Krio is spoken as a lingua franca in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone. Krio, an English-based creole language, is the mother tongue of 10.5% of the population but is spoken by 90% of Sierra Leoneans.
Some Fun Facts!
1) The national symbol of freedom is a tree.
2) About 85 percent of people have a radio.
3) Israel built their parliament building.
4) In 1972, the world’s third-largest gem-quality diamond was found here.
5) They use rice in almost every meal!
6) Only 31 percent of adults can read.
7) Sierra Leone is 10th least country by life expectancy with 54 year.
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