How To Respected When You Travel To Ghana

traveltoghana By traveltoghana, 12th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3acwg-h-/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Africa>Ghana>Accra & Around

Most people visit countries like Ghana but they often take the culture for granted. That's why this piece has been written to help you understand and properly observe a very significant aspect of our culture: greetings.

How To Greet Like A Local When You Visit Ghana


Wendy’s joy knew no bounds when she had a tourist visa to visit Ghana.

As she packed her luggage,she fantasized about her trip and how things would go. She had heard so many things about the beautiful country of Ghana and she couldn’t wait to see for herself the beauty and splendor of this famous country. What she really wanted to see most was The Cape Castle.

Her grandparents had visited the giant monument some years ago and had told her that it was where her ancestors were taken from to The United States of America.
After saving some cash for more than a year, she booked her flight and accommodation.

At last, her departure date arrived and she boarded a flight bound for West Africa.
After twelve long hours in the sky, she finally touched down at The Kotoka International Airport and was given a rousing welcome by her host family.

She was tired so she jumped off to bed but was awakened at dawn when the first cock crowed. This was a bit unusual. What she depended on to get her out of bed all the time was her alarm clock. But she was pleasantly surprised to discover that a bird can really wake an entire household up to the day’s activities.

After taking her porridge, she asked someone in her house to take her around so she could see what her ancestral soil had to offer.

Her first port of call was the chief’s palace at Nsuta. When she got there she was impressed by the drawings on the wall and the wooden furniture on display.

Her main aim of travelling to Ghana was for cultural immersion and seeking audience before the great king was just rapturous.

Besides getting to know about the culture, she went there to discuss issues confronting the village’s development.

When they arrived at the palace, she just waved at the elders with her left arm at the elders. This didn’t go on well with the chief, his elders, and subjects.

The response from the prominent men was rather cold.
Just after that, she was ushered to a large room where the paramount chief was splendidly dressed and seated on a giant wooden stool. Like a palm tree, she stood stiff, stooped low and waved her arm.

That gesture didn’t go down well with the king too as this was an inappropriate way of addressing the first gentleman of the land and his esteemed wise men.

You know what? Her guess had not taught her about what is accepted and what is not accepted. So the people around didn't really blame her but her host.

Obviously she knew little about greetings. Her guests failed to instruct her about the right way to greet when she first traveled to Ghana.

Any traveler to Ghana too can a victim of cultural shock if you don’t make time to study the etiquette of the local people prior to visiting Ghana . If you fail to heed this, then you can be utterly embarrassed if you find yourself in a similar situation as did Wendy.

Here are ways to greet and conduct yourself so you don’t become a societal misfit.

When you meet someone in their home, please greet them with your right hand and not your left hand. It's considered improper if the guest ignores any person present.

Greet people you meet for the first time with a firm handshake (This ensures that the guest's palm makes contact with the palm of the person receiving the handshake - touching the back of the hand) and ask them about their health,family, and their jobs.

After this,you can put your request across. Let me give you an example of how that is done in Twi, a language spoken by majority of people in Ghana.

In case you meet someone you can say: Etisen?Meaning how are you.
The other party responds:Me woye,Meaning I am fine. Pause for a moment and practice the above expressions.

Don't say it's very difficult hard. Just give it a try. Just as you'll greet based on the time of the day,you're expected to do same when you pay a visit to Ghana.

Those expressions can also help but you need to use them as much as you can so it becomes a part of you .

Again, take off your cap while greeting. It’s sign of politeness. Festivities such as festivals, baby naming ceremony,and so present a fine opportunity to see customs and traditions unfold before your very eyes.
All you’ve to do during these festive days is to observe how the elderly greet and do same.
Never wave with your left-hand.

At a chief’s palace, proper palace protocol should be noticed. For example, if you’re invited by a chief of a town or village to meet him, move up towards where he is seated, stop and bow. Extend your right hand if he invites you for a handshake. Bow as you greet him. To ensure that you get it right, let the natives go ahead of you and observe how they do it and do same.

If you’re fortunate to stay with a host family while on visit to Ghana, then why not ask your host to give you some lessons on ways of greetings. If you’re vigilant, you’ll get to know how it’s done as your host receives visitors!

Greetings show one's concern for the other. If you fail to greet,it shows that you don't care about the other person's well-being.
Hope these tips and ideas save you from public ridicule and make your travel here in Ghana worth it. Enjoy your trip!

Tags

Ghana Vacations, Travel To Ghana, Trip To Ghana, Visit Ghana

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author avatar traveltoghana
A ghanaian who wants to help travelers to ghana

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