The Sudanese people

People and Society
Despite this diversity, or possibly even as a result of it, the Sudan has always possessed a distinct cultural history and unity, even though the boundaries of the Sudan as a country in former times might not match those of the present-day nation. Social, political, and economic intercourse with its various neighbours has traditionally bred in Sudan a specifically Sudanese identity, evident, if nowhere else, in the cohabitation of various strands of influence derived from the Mediterranean and African spheres in an historical and political context.

Its most important neighbor has always been Egypt, due largely to the domination of the area by the Nile. As a means of communication and trade, its role is unparalled in the region, and because of this, the northern riverian areas of the Sudan have usually been entwined quite closely with the lands to the north. Ever since the dawn of civilization, starting with the Egyptian conquest of the northern parts of the Sudan during the Middle Kingdom in 2000 BC, the paths of the two countries have been closely linked.

But indigenous Sudanese traditions have always been identifiable, even from the earliest times. From the beginnings of the ‘classical’ African Kushite civilization, and the kingdom of Meroe around 590 BC, the Sudan has always manifested a diverse range of indigenous cultures and a distinct heritage of its own. Both the richness and diversity of these cultures owe a great deal to the geography and demography of the area.

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