Leisure Recreation and the Arts

As noted by Suggs (1993, p. 110), there is an expression among the Tswana that claims "men have all the power and women have all the work." This statement holds true in the sense that women do a large percentage of the domestic work, particularly in more rural areas, and claim to have less leisure time to spend on recreation. As in any society, leisure and recreation are also largely dependent upon class position. It is more culturally acceptable among the Tswana for men to spend large amounts of time frequenting beer halls, drinking, and socializing. Soccer is extremely popular among the contemporary Tswana, although primarily only the men participate. Music and drama, historically significant parts of Tswana life and the oral tradition, are now also constructed as leisure activities. Traditional Tswana music was based upon vocals and stringed instruments with less emphasis on drumming. Today, both sexes listen to music from South Africa and the United States on the radio, and there has been a significant revival in school dance and music troupes. Drama groups attempting to portray awareness of contemporary sociopolitical issues (government, ritual murders, HIV/AIDS) have increased in the past several decades and draw both male and female participants.

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