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Fun Culture Facts Kenya

a view of a city with tall buildings

Fun Culture Facts Kenya

Kenya is known for its scenic landscapes and abundant wildlife, drawing tourists in, from around the world with its reserves and parks. Kenyans are diverse, friendly and welcoming people that enjoy sharing their culture and heritage to everyone. So be prepared to always have a warm greeting when you meet a local.
This scene plays out in almost all situations. A person entering a shop, for instance, would start by shaking the shop attendant’s hand and would proceed to make small talk before going about their business. The same practice should be repeated on departure. Women also start by shaking hands with other women. Most communities, however, restrict women from greeting their male counterparts by shaking their hands, though this restriction seems to have far less weight in more sophisticated contexts.
It is considered good manners for visitors to mumble at least a salutation in the local language. Alternatively, visitors can use JAMBO , the Swahili salutation that loosely translates to “Hello”. Traditionally, greetings should last about a minute or two. However, it is advisable to make them slightly longer, especially if you plan to get cultural Information with the person you are greeting. Hissing may appear rude in other cultures but it is a perfectly acceptable form of getting a stranger’s attention. Have fun!
This habit is, however, less common among sophisticated urban dwellers, except in crowded situations like restaurants, where again, it is normal to hiss at a waiter. Bodily gestures and close physical contact is a common phenomenon, especially among the coastal tribes. Visitors should anticipate holding hands with strangers, especially if they are leading you around.When responding to questions, always avoid flat out ‘no’ responses, as most communities consider these rude. Instead, elaborate on your answer and, when asking questions, avoid phrasing the queries in the negative.
A common and essential component of etiquette in Kenya is the hand rule. Kenyans reserve the left hand for unhygienic acts and the right for acts such as eating, touching and passing things to other people. Pointing at another person is considered rude and that goes for beckoning with the palms up, which is considered rude and may be interpreted as you being dismissive.
All Kenyan communities appreciate decorum in community settings. Young people are obliged and expected to respect their elders and treat them as such at all times. Culture here dictates the elderly have the first go at any time, and this includes when serving meals or getting whatever favor. So Kenyans are like wine, privileges get better in time!
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