කෙන්යා ජනරජය නැගෙනහිර අප්රිකාවට අයත් රාජ්යයකි. ඉන්දියන් සාගරයෙහි සමකය (equator) මත පිහිටා ඇති කෙන්යාව, උතුරු දෙසින් ඉතියෝපියාවෙන් ද, ඊසාන දිගින් සෝමාලියාවෙන් ද, දකුණු දෙසින් ටැන්සානියාවෙන් ද, බටහිරින් උගන්ඩාව හා වික්ටෝරියා විලෙන් ද , වයඹ දිගින් සුඩානයෙන් ද මායිම් ව පවතී. මෑත කාලවකවානුවේ දී,එරට ජනගහනයේ ආසන්න වශයෙන් මිලියන 38 දක්වා වූ සීඝ්ර වර්ධනයක් දක්නට ලබේ. දහස් සංඛ්යාත සත්ත්ව විශේෂයන් ගෙන් සමන්විත වන සත්ත්ව සංචිතයක්ද මෙරටෙහි දැකගත හැකිය.
මෙරටට 'කෙන්යාව' යන නම ලැබී ඇත්තේ ප්රකට ඉම් සළකුණු වු ද අප්රිකාවේ ගිරිකුළු අතරින් දෙවන ස්ථානය ගන්නා වූද, 'කෙන්යා' නම් වූ කන්දෙහි නාමය මෙරටට ආරෝපනය කර ඇති හෙයිනි. මෙම කන්දෙහි නාමය මෙන්ම මෙරටෙහි නාමයද ස්වදේශිය උච්චාරණයට අනුව 'කෙන්යාව' විය යුතු වුවද ඉංග්රිසි බසින් මුල පටන් ම, සාමාන්යයෙන් උච්චාරණය කරන ලද්දේ 'කිනියා' යනුවෙනි. වර්ෂ 1960 ගණන්වල ජොමෝ කිනියාවා ජානාධිපතිවරයා සිටි කාලයේ දී ප්රවර්තන ඉංග්රීසි උච්චාරණය වූ 'කෙන්යා' යන්න බෙහෙවින් ප්රචලිත විය.
ඊට හේතු වුයේ ඔහුගේ නාමයෙහි දේශිය උච්චාරණය ගැබ්ව තිබු හෙයිනි. දැනට කෙන්යාව යනුවෙන් හඳුන්වනු ලබන ප්රදේශය වසර 1920 ට පෙරදී හැඳින්වූයේ 'බ්රිතාන්යයට අයත් නැගෙනහිර අප්රිකා ආරක්ෂිත රාජ්යය වශයෙනි.
The culture of Kenya comprises multiple traditions. Kenya has no single prominent culture. It instead consists of the various cultures of the country's different communities.
Notable populations include the Swahili on the coast, several other Bantu communities in the central and western regions, and Nilotic communities in the northwest. The Maasai culture is well known to tourism, despite constituting a relatively small part of Kenya's population. They are renowned for their elaborate upper-body adornment and jewellery.
Additionally, Kenya has an extensive music, television, and theatre scene.
Kenya has a number of media outlets that broadcast domestically and globally. They cover news, business, sports, and entertainment. Popular Kenyan newspapers include:
- The Daily Nation; part of the Nation Media Group (NMG) (largest market share)
- The Standard
- The Star
- The People
- East Africa Weekly
- Taifa Leo
Television stations based in Kenya include:
- Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC)
- Citizen TV
- Kenya Television Network (KTN)
- NTV (part of the Nation Media Group (NMG))
- Kiss Television
- K24 Television
All these terrestrial channels are transmitted via a DVB T2 digital TV signal.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is one of Kenya's best-known writers. His novel Weep Not, Child depicts life in Kenya during the British occupation. The story details the effects of the Mau Mau on the lives of Kenyans. Its combination of themes—colonialism, education, and love—helped make it one of the best-known African novels.
M.G. Vassanji's 2003 novel The In-Between World of Vikram Lall won the Giller Prize in 2003. It is the fictional memoir of a Kenyan of Indian heritage and his family as they adjust to the changing political climates in colonial and post-colonial Kenya.
Since 2003, the literary journal Kwani? has been publishing Kenyan contemporary literature. Kenya has also nurtured emerging versatile authors such as Paul Kipchumba (Kipwendui, Kibiwott) who demonstrate a pan-African outlook.
Drums are the most dominant instrument in popular Kenyan music. Drum beats are very complex and include both native rhythms and imported ones, especially the Congolese cavacha rhythm. Popular Kenyan music usually involves the interplay of multiple parts, and more recently, showy guitar solos as well. There are also a number of local hip-hop artists, including Jua Cali; Afro-pop bands such as Sauti Sol; and musicians who play local genres like Benga, such as Akothee.
Lyrics are most often in Kiswahili or English. There is also some emerging aspect of Lingala borrowed from Congolese musicians. Lyrics are also written in local languages. Urban radio generally only plays English music, though there also exist a number of vernacular radio stations.
Zilizopendwa is a genre of local urban music that was recorded in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s by musicians such as Daudi Kabaka, Fadhili William, and Sukuma Bin Ongaro, and is particularly enjoyed by older people—having been popularised by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation's Kiswahili service (formerly called Voice of Kenya or VOK).
The Isukuti is a vigorous dance performed by the Luhya sub-tribes to the beat of a traditional drum called the Isukuti during many occasions such as the birth of a child, marriage, or funeral. Other traditional dances include the Ohangla among the Luo, Nzele among the Mijikenda, Mugithi among the Kikuyu, and Taarab among the Swahili.
Additionally, Kenya has a growing Christian gospel music scene. Prominent local gospel musicians include the Kenyan Boys Choir.
Benga music has been popular since the late 1960s, especially in the area around Lake Victoria. The word benga is occasionally used to refer to any kind of pop music. Bass, guitar, and percussion are the usual instruments.
Kenya is active in several sports, among them cricket, rallying, football, rugby, field hockey, and boxing. The country is known chiefly for its dominance in middle-distance and long-distance athletics, having consistently produced Olympic and Commonwealth Games champions in various distance events, especially in 800 m, 1,500 m, 3,000 m steeplechase, 5,000 m, 10,000 m, and the marathon. Kenyan athletes (particularly Kalenjin), continue to dominate the world of distance running, although competition from Morocco and Ethiopia has reduced this supremacy. Kenya's best-known athletes include the four-time women's Boston Marathon winner and two-time world champion Catherine Ndereba, 800m world record holder David Rudisha, former marathon world record-holder Paul Tergat, and John Ngugi.
Kenya won several medals during the Beijing Olympics: six gold, four silver, and four bronze, making it Africa's most successful nation in the 2008 Olympics. New athletes gained attention, such as Pamela Jelimo, the women's 800m gold medalist who went on to win the IAAF Golden League jackpot, and Samuel Wanjiru, who won the men's marathon. Retired Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion Kipchoge Keino helped usher in Kenya's ongoing distance dynasty in the 1970s and was followed by Commonwealth Champion Henry Rono's spectacular string of world record performances. Lately, there has been controversy in Kenyan athletics circles, with the defection of a number of Kenyan athletes to represent other countries, chiefly Bahrain and Qatar. The Kenyan Ministry of Sports has tried to stop the defections, but they have continued anyway, with Bernard Lagat being the latest, choosing to represent the United States. Most of these defections occur because of economic or financial factors. Decisions by the Kenyan government to tax athletes' earnings may also be a motivating factor. Some elite Kenyan runners who cannot qualify for their country's strong national team find it easier to qualify by running for other countries.
Kenya has been a dominant force in women's volleyball within Africa, with both the clubs and the national team winning various continental championships in the past decade. The women's team has competed at the Olympics and World Championships, though without any notable success. Cricket is another popular sport, also ranking as the most successful team sport. Kenya has competed in the Cricket World Cup since 1996. They upset some of the world's best teams and reached the semi-finals of the 2003 tournament. They won the inaugural World Cricket League Division 1 hosted in Nairobi and participated in the World T20. They also participated in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Their current captain is Rakep Patel.
Rugby is increasing in popularity, especially with the annual Safari Sevens tournament. The Kenya Sevens team ranked 9th in the IRB Sevens World Series for the 2006 season. In 2016, the team beat Fiji at the Singapore Sevens finals, making Kenya the second African nation after South Africa to win a World Series championship. Kenya was once also a regional powerhouse in football. However, its dominance has been eroded by wrangles within the now defunct Kenya Football Federation, leading to a suspension by FIFA which was lifted in March 2007.
In the motor rallying arena, Kenya is home to the world-famous Safari Rally, commonly acknowledged as one of the toughest rallies in the world. First held in 1953, it was a part of the World Rally Championship for many years until its exclusion after the 2002 event owing to financial difficulties. Some of the best rally drivers in the world have taken part in and won the rally, such as Björn Waldegård, Hannu Mikkola, Tommi Mäkinen, Shekhar Mehta, Carlos Sainz, and Colin McRae. The Safari Rally returned to the world championship in 2021, after the 2003–2019 events ran as part of the African Rally Championship.
Nairobi has hosted several major continental sports events, including the FIBA Africa Championship 1993, where Kenya's national basketball team finished in the top four, its best performance to date.
Kenya also has its own ice hockey team, the Kenya Ice Lions. The team's home ground is the Solar Ice Rink at the Panari Sky Centre in Nairobi, which is the first and largest ice rink in all of Africa.
Kenya men's national field hockey team was considered one of the good teams in the world during 1960s and 1970s.
Kenyans generally have three meals in a day—breakfast (kiamsha kinywa), lunch (chakula cha mchana), and supper (chakula cha jioni or simply chajio). In between, they have the 10-o'clock tea (chai ya saa nne) and 4 p.m. tea (chai ya saa kumi). Breakfast is usually tea or porridge with bread, chapati, mahamri, boiled sweet potatoes, or yams. Githeri is a common lunchtime dish in many households, while Ugali with vegetables, sour milk (mursik), meat, fish, or any other stew is generally eaten by much of the population for lunch or supper. Regional variations and dishes also exist.
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