South Sudanese Culture

Other Considerations

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  • Under Australian law, the customs of scarification and tattooing are legal provided that the person is over 18 and has given his or her consent for it.
  • Many traffic laws common throughout industrialised nations do not apply in South Sudan. South Sudanese migrants often have to adapt to an entirely new system of licensing and road rules.
  • Many families have at least one family member in the military and it is normal to hear people address one another as “comrade” in South Sudan (reflecting the communist roots of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army).
  • Some South Sudanese community members are former soldiers.
  • Drinking alcohol is frowned upon in South Sudan. Few people drink socially, and those who do are often considered ‘drunkards’ even if they do not drink excessively. Alcohol may be more popular among some of the younger generation. However, it is often thought to bring shame on a family. For the Dinka and Nuer, drinking is especially stigmatised for females.
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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%)
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