13 Fun Facts About Liberia’s Laws, Culture and Struggles

liberia fun facts featured image

Liberia has implemented its ‘never-give-up attitude’ and has shaped its traditions and culture by overcoming hard times in the past. 

Two difficult civil wars couldn’t break Liberia, and it flaunts its cultural and landmark events even today. With more than 28 ethnic groups, Liberia is diverse in terms of ethnicity and is an inspiration to the world in many ways. 

I’ve rounded up some interesting facts that give us more insight into a positive and different side of Liberia. 

1. Liberia Means “Land Of The Free”

Freed salve from the United States and the Caribbean formed this country way back in 1821. A freed slave namely, Joseph Jenkins, was appointed as Liberia’s first President. Monrovia, its capital, was named after the former US president, James Monroe, who was a strong supporter of free slaves. 

2. A Paradise For Surfers

Some of Liberia’s best beaches feature clear waters and perfect barrel waves with no crowds in the lineup. The only challenge is getting here, as it’s miles from many western countries!

3. Liberia Allows Only Dark-Skinned People To Be Citizens

The constitution states that only people with dark skin tone can be citizens of Liberia. Why so harsh?

Liberians have a traumatic history of foreign dominance and enslavement, and understandably, they don’t want to go down that road ever again. 

4. They Have A Special Handshake To Honour Freed Slaves

Liberians have a fun way of shaking hands called the Liberian finger snap. Two people will touch hands just like a regular handshake but mutually snap their fingers to make a snapping sound. 

SEE ALSO:  13 Fun and Little-Known Facts About Guinea

This represents freed slaves as slave owners used to break workers’ fingers in the past. Today, the free people of Liberia use it to represent their freedom and are proud of it. 

5. One Of The Youngest Populations In The World

Liberia has one of the largest populations of young citizens, with a median age of 18 years. Others on the list include Niger, Uganda, Mali, Zambia and Chad.

6. Liberia Is Home To Only One National Park

Sapo National Park is of Africa’s best national parks which contains the untouched rainforests of West Africa. It’s home to the endangered and rare pygmy hippopotamus.

pygmy hippopotamus

7. Liberia Doesn’t Use The Metric Measurement System

Liberia is one of the three countries not to prefer using the metric measurement system, choosing to use the imperial measurement system instead, right alongside Myanmar and the United States.

8. Liberia Is Home To More Than 700 Species Of Birds

Liberia is a bird haven and is home to over 700 bird species, with a unique species called bee warblers. 

9. Liberia Doesn’t Have Any UNESCO Heritage Sites

UNESCO has not awarded Liberia any sites as part of its World Heritage Properties. However, Mount Nimba Strict Reserve and Providence Island have been on the tentative list since 2017.

10. Rice Is The Staple Food Of Liberia

Liberians prefer to eat rice at least once a day which is often served with a sauce that resembles soup made up of fish or chicken. Many feel like they have eaten enough if they skip eating rice.

SEE ALSO:  11 Fun Facts About Sierra Leone and its People

11. First Ever African Country To Have A Female President

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia was the first ever female president of any African nation. She was called ‘The Iron Lady’ and was the 24th president of the nation, serving from 2006 to 2018. 

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia

Among all her great accomplishments, one was the creation of the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Committee.’ This committee was meant to address ethnic tensions and corruption within the country. 

12. The Second-Largest Commercial Ship Fleet In The World

After Panama, Liberia has the second-largest commercial ship fleet globally, although very few actually were built or even visit the country. 10% of ships globally are registered in Liberia to save millions in taxes/tarrifs as a ‘flag of convenience’ country. 

13. Liberia Has A Town Named ‘Smell No Taste’

The town is home to a small community that picked the name as a reference to a joke, with a real story behind it. During WW2, many US soldiers were stationed close to the village to guard the rubber plantations and military resources. 

As the soldiers cooked food, the smell would drift over into the nearby village. As the citizens were not allowed to enter the army base, they could only smell the delicious western food but could not taste it, so this funny name was eventually picked for the village.

Joshua Smith

Joshua has visited 10 countries and has another 110 to go! He plans to sail around the world over 5 years, and then spend the next 5 years driving around the world in a 4×4. He prefers to explore the more remote places without the tourists, and yet, doesn’t mind the ritzy feel of business class at 10,000 feet either.

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