Republic of the Sudan
CAPITAL : Khartoum
FLAG : The national flag consists of a tricolor of red, white, and black horizontal stripes, with a green triangle at the hoist.
ANTHEM : Jundi al-Allah (Soldiers of God).
MONETARY UNIT : The Sudanese dinar ( SD ) is a paper currency of 100 piasters (qurush) or 1,000 milliemes. SD 1 = $0.0038 (or $1 = SD 260.39) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but a highly diverse system based on Egyptian and British standards is in local use.
HOLIDAYS : Independence Day, 1 January; Unity Day, 3 March; Uprising Day, 6 April; Decentralization Day, 1 July; Christmas, 25 December. Movable Muslim religious holidays include the 1st of Muharram (Muslim New Year), 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', and Milad an-Nabi.
TIME : 2 PM = noon GMT.
Indigenous Sudanese include Nilotic or Negroid peoples, of whom the Dinka form the largest portion, and constitute about 52% of the national population; Arabs (an estimated 39% of the population); and Beja (6%). In all, there are nearly 600 ethnic groups. Foreigners constitute 2% of the total populace; other groups another 1%.
Arabic, the official language, is the mother tongue of about half the population. Besides standard Arabic, Nubian and Ta Bedawie are also commonly spoken. English is used widely, in many cases serving as a lingua franca among the southern tribes. In all, more than 400 diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, and Sudanic languages are spoken.
In the southern provinces and towns, fish, particularly the Nile perch, is a diet staple. The river yields some 110 varieties of fish, and the Red Sea is another valuable fishing ground. In 2000, the total catch was 50,000 tons, 88% from freshwater sources.
All foreign insurance companies were nationalized in 1970; there were at least 20 Sudanese insurance companies in 1997 and a National Reinsurance Co.
Sudan has no territories or colonies.
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