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How to show respect in Ghana

by The Ghana HIT

Each country has some acceptable ethics and behavior, and Ghana is no exception. When traveling to Ghana, knowing what Ghanaians expect from you is good. It is not the norm of Ghanaians to point out mistakes to foreign tourists; nevertheless, if you repeat the same mistake several times, they correct you. Ghanaian believe that repetitive mistakes create an unfriendly atmosphere.

Greeting is a sign of respect; therefore, it is advisable to greet and answer greetings correctly. Ghanaians believe that greetings are not a waste of time. Always greet anytime you meet people, particularly the older people, and if you fail to greet them, this is seen as an offense. If it is your first time in Ghana, remember to greet or shake hands whenever possible.

It is unacceptable for men and women to show affection in public places. Some of the acceptable norms between couples include holding hands and hugging. Hugging between men and women is not common in Ghana, but close friends and family hug quite often. Most foreigners like hugging, but this is not something that most Ghanaians are used to. It is a sign of respect to ask permission before taking photos of other people or with other people. You should never take any photo without people’s permission, especially in public gatherings.

Remember to use respectable titles while addressing people. Elderly people are commonly addressed with titles such as grandfather, grandmother, uncle, auntie, father, mother, elder, and senior brother. When addressing your agemates, you can use the brother or sister title. Address all the people regardless of their age and social class.
Women are expected to play all the submissive roles, particularly in North Ghana. They should be respectful, quiet, and supportive every time. Women are expected to speak and conduct themselves well. Besides, ladies are not supposed to disapprove of a man in public, or a wife should behave as if she is equal to her Husband.

Although western people believe that they are equal to their men, most Africans do not acknowledge this. Any lady who acts like a man is not accorded desired respect. Ladies should always impress and influence others positively. When visiting Ghana for the first time, you should first understand their social roles and culture. Avoid using sensitive words like a fool, crazy or stupid.

The right and left hands have varied uses. Using the left hand is considered disrespectful in most circumstances. It is a sign of disrespect to give or receive anything with your left hand. The right hand is used for greetings and also eating. It is advisable never to use your left hand in when sharing food with other people.

Whenever someone offers you food, never refuse; you should take some even if you don’t finish it. It is advisable to make good comments concerning the meal. When you visit a restaurant or a food vendor, you should feel free to order a dish. Negative Facial expressions and comments about a particular dish is a sign of disrespect to whoever prepared it.

When dressing, ensure that you are neat and decent. Ladies should not wear tight even when working out. Besides, they are not allowed to dress like men or put on shorts, straps, or crop tops. Men are not allowed to go out without wearing a shirt and should be neat and properly dressed. Your dressing code shows your character, and therefore you should always be careful.

Whenever visiting someone’s home, you should take off your shoes at the door. Some people may allow you to wear shoes in their houses, but they should be clean. You should remove your shoes anytime you are greeting the chief. And, you should sit well to ensure that the soles of your shoes are not visible. Always pay attention when talking to people and remember that maybe means yes. When donating something to people, you should do it privately.

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