Algeria's Unique and Diverse Culture and Tradition
Algeria's culture is strongly influenced by the country's recent history, as well as other aspects such as their literature, music, arts, crafts and religion.
Arabic is Algeria's primary language and is spoken by around 82% of the populace. The French colonialism experienced by the country in the past has resulted in French being the second language of many educated Algerians, and English is very rarely spoken. Many people of Algeria also speak different dialects of Berber.
The culture of most countries is also influenced by its past and this is certainly true of Algeria. There are also many ethnic groups in the country that contribute to its diverse and fascinating culture.
Islam is the official religion of Algeria and the majority of Algerians are Muslims. Since the departure of the French, Christianity is a secondary religion. Approximately one percent of Algeria's population is Jewish.
Algerian literature is split between French and Arabic and the country has produced a number of famous novelists, Mohammed Dib, Kateb Yacine and Assia Djebar, during the 20th century. Assia Djebar's works are widely translated.
The musical genre of Algeria that is best known abroad is Rai. Rai is a pop-flavored, opinionated take on folk music, featuring stars such as Khaled and Cheb Mami. Chaabi style music also remains very popular with stars such as El Hadj El Anka and Dahmane El Harrachi making their mark on the local music scene. For those with a more classical taste in music, Andalusi music, brought from Al-Andalus by Morisco refugees, is preserved in many older coastal towns.
Algeria has a thriving handicrafts industry. Part of the charm of the country is the richness of its production. From carpets to ceramics, from leather to lute making, from pottery to glass working to silverwork, the country has a tremendous variety of skills that produce goods which are sold in many other countries as well as to visiting tourists.