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Ten interesting facts about Angola

1. Angola’s oil and diamonds are its primary sources of income. The country has even become China’s major oil supplier.

2. Tipping is not standard practice in Angola. If you do leave tips, it should not be more than 10% of your bill – and it does not have to be in cash! (Cigarettes, for instance, are acceptable.)

3. Unlike other currencies, Angola’s kwanza can’t be taken outside the country. Attempting to bring it out is illegal.

4. Slave trade was practiced in the early history of Angola, with such tribes as the Imbangala and the Mbundu as slave traders, and with ports built in Luanda and Benguela. Portuguese put an end to slave trade in 1836, years after Brazil, with which Angola traded slaves, gained independence from Portugal.

5. Semba, one of the most common Angolan musical styles, influenced several other types of music, including the samba of Brazil.

6. The national flag of Angola was inspired by the Soviet Union flag. The gold cogwheel and machete on the Angolan flag were patterned after the hammer and sickle on the flag of Soviet Union. The star the Angolan flag carries is also from the Soviet flag.

7. Angola has a land area of 1,246,701 square kilometers (481,354 square miles), making it twice as big as Texas and thrice the size of California.

8. Angolans normally shake hands when greeting each other ­– but when introduced to an older person or to someone with a higher position, Angolans typically bow their heads.

9. Photographing government buildings, military sites, and such other structures is illegal in Angola and is penalized.

10. The name Angola is derived from the word ngola, a title for kings used in the state of Ndongo during the early centuries.