A look at one point of daily life in Africa....

African culture, etiquette, manners and customs vary from tribe to tribe with a common theme of hospitality and warm smiles all round

A look at one point of daily life in Africa....

World Bulletin / News Desk

Africans are a generous people and in Africa the most common. Here the most common way to honour your guests is by serving water. In fact, according to the traditions of the Mossi tribe water is given before even greeting or beginning any conversation.

Africa does not only have a hot climate, its people are warm too. When they meet, a myriad of questions are asked like, ‘’How are you?’’ , ‘’How is your family?’’ and so forth. Perhaps some may tire of this ceremony but there are times when there are those who answer, "fine", "fine" even without being asked first.

One must also be prepared to shake hands, with hands touching just near the tips. When asked why no one had shaken my hand, the reply was , "you are our elder, and for that reason it is considered rude". The fact that they just see you is an indication of a welcome in their culture...

In different local languages there are differnt words used to express brotherhood. For example in Burkina Faso if you say, ‘’mebigto’’ most of your work will be done. This is because you will have the privilege of addressing you as a brother.

They like to honour their guests and here the most customary way is to serve water. According to the traditions of the Moss tribe, water is served before even a welcome greeting. To do anything beforehand is considered rude.


First you drink water and then talk. As in all societies, to not accept the food or a drink is considered a big insult. For this reason the best way around is to at least pretend as if you are eating. Of course there are certain differentiating cultural differences, habits, tastes, etc. For example, not every table that you are offered a meal will you find forks and spoons. According to a certain president long ago he said that, "we do not have any local detergent and for this reason our cutlery may not be clean. But you can use your fingers to eat, because you will wash that afterwards". This habit has stayed with Africans since then.

For many Africans it is a huge honour to invite people to your home and serve tea. Tea glasses are added with sugar, slightly cooled and frothed up. It is considered the cultural norm and cannot imagine having tea without sugar.

They also respect different foods as well as palates. They also show great interest in drawings. They live life in its most natural form and their lives follow this with little effort. Consquently, eating, drinking, praying are things that are far removed from protocol.

There is no expectation for visitors to be invited to stay and there are those who come without notice. In doing so there is also no expectation to leave, guests are welcome to stay as long as they like. You will also find that many homes have a myriad of different family members under the one roof. The It is possible to find many relatives to stop and visit. The number of the people living at a home is not a population but a family. The number of people living at home is certainly not proportionate to a family population. Indeed the Africans are a hugely warm people with lasting smiles.

Haşim Akın/ dunyabizim.com


Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2016, 20:05