South Sudanese Culture

Greetings

  • It is common to greet people with a handshake in South Sudan. It is rude not to offer your hand in a greeting.
  • People may pat each other on the shoulders before shaking hands and close friends or family may embrace.
  • Women may give three kisses on alternating cheeks when greeting people.
  • Kneel or bend down during greetings to respect people's seniority, especially if they are older than you.
  • The common verbal greetings in Bari are “Do pure” (Good morning), “Do parana” (Good afternoon) and “Gwon ada?” (How are you?).
  • It is usually appropriate to address someone by their first name, unless they are an elder, teacher or religious leader. For superiors, use their title and surname.
  • South Sudanese greetings are generally less formal than greetings between North Sudanese Muslims.
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

South Sudan
  • Population
    13,026,129
    [July 2017 est.]
  • Languages
    English (official)
    Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants)
    Many regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande and Shilluk
  • Religions
    Christian (majority)
    Animist
    Note: Demographics unavailable.
  • Ethnicities
    Dinka (35.8%)
    Nuer (15.6%)
    Others including Shilluk, Azande, Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango, Dungotona, Acholi, Baka, Fertit
    [2011 est]
    Note: Demographics and statistics on the ethnic make-up of South Sudan are rough estimates.
  • Australians with South Sudanese Ancestry
    13,059 [2016 census]
South Sudanese in Australia
  • Population
    7,699 [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in South Sudan. However, this census data does not accurately reflect true community affiliations. As the majority of people who identify as South Sudanese were technically born in the Republic of Sudan before the division of the two countries, many list “Sudan” as their birthplace and consequently get categorised as North Sudanese. However, community leaders estimate that there are more than 20,000 South Sudanese people in Australia.
  • Average Age
    27
  • Gender
    Male (56.7%)
    Female (43.3%)
  • Religion
    Catholic Christianity (42.7%)
    Anglican Christianity (35.1%)
    Presbyterian and Reformed Christianity (6.8%)
    Baptist Christianity (2.8%)
    Other (12.6%)
  • Ancestry
    South Sudanese (55%)
    Sudanese (15.4%)
    African, so described (7.7%)
    Dinka (5.7%)
    Other (17.6%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Dinka (52%)
    Arabic (18.8%)
    Nuer (7.4%)
    African languages, so described (4.2%)
    Other (17.6%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 80.5% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (32.1%)
    Queensland (20.5%)
    New South Wales (16.1%)
    Western Australia (14%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (5.6%)
    2001-2006 (72.4%)
    2007-2011 (18.4%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/247/ss.svg Flag Country South Sudan