This blogpost highlights some things you shouldn’t do in Ghana if you are visiting. Ghana is the melting pot for so many beautiful and unique cultures. Ranked the 4th most peaceful country in Africa and the most peaceful country in West-Africa, Ghana is the place to be if you are seeking for some peace of mind and unique experiences. Ghana boasts of beautiful national parks, waterfalls and museums worth visiting and exploring.
Ghana is not only beautiful because of its colorful culture but also because of its people. In fact, that is the best part of the Ghanaian experience. But before you decide to go to Ghana, here are some 10 things you shouldn’t do when you visit Ghana. They will help you to better understand the people and help you to be conscious of your environment.
The 10 Things You shouldn’t do In Ghana
Do Not Ask People Questions or Start a Conversation Without Greeting People
Ghanaians are very keen on Respect. It is very important to greet every person before you start a conversation with them. This sounds like common knowledge and indeed it is especially for Ghanaians therefore, if you want to avoid “getting the eye” please greet people and acknowledge their presence before engaging in any form of conversation with them.
Do Not Sit Down When You Visit Someone
When you visit another person in their house, wait for the person to offer you a seat before you sit down. Sitting down without being asked is seen as disrespectful. To honour your host and show that you are well mannered please wait for her to offer you a seat. In some cases some people will not even talk to you unless they have offered you a seat and served you some water.
Take Off Your Shoes Before Entering People’s house or Rooms
This may vary in many houses. Some houses don’t mind you walking into their home with your shoes on others do mind. So before you enter people’s homes please ask if it is okay for you to bring your shoes.
Do Not Disrespect an Elderly Person
Like stated above, Ghanaians are very strong on respect. Disrespecting an elderly person is not something people take very lightly so do your best to sound polite and respectful. Do not forget your “please” and your “thank yous”. Also don’t talk over your elderly. Wait for them make their points and then you can respectfully make yours.
Do Not Use Your Left Hands
The use of the left hand is a big no no. The left hand is considered unclean by the Ghanaian people therefore you shouldn’t use it with other people. Avoiding handing people things with your left hands or receiving with your left hand. Don’t wave at people with your left hand and in case you forget to do any of these things with your your left hand, it is expected of you to apologise for it.
Do Not Smell or Sniff Food
Ghanaians don’t like it when people sniff their food. Actually, they they don’t understand why someone would want to smell food before they try it or eat it. Sniffing food in a Ghanaian home will cause people to look at you in a different light so avoid doing that. When you are offered food, admire it with your eyes and taste it you want to but don’t sniff it.
Do Not Smoke in Public
People who smoke or drink in general are considered as rebellious in Ghana. It is not the best practice people especially the young are expected to engage in. Smoking or drinking automatically paints a bad picture of a person in the minds of most Ghanaians hence it is something you want to do privately.
Do Not Accept Prices as Given
If you are going to Ghana for the first time you have to learn the skills of bargaining. Do not be quick to pay for things without bargaining. If you want to you can pay full price but in most cases prices are negotiable in Ghana. Taxi fares, goods and commodities prices, rents, etc are all subjects for bargaining so don’t feel awkward doing it. If you are not good at this skill you can ask a native to help you out and you will be amazed at how effective the skill is.
Do Not Expect Good Time Keeping
This may be new to you but not to many Ghanaians. In fact there exists the terminology “African Time” which simply implies that Africans have their own time which is different from what everyone else is used to. Basically Ghanaians are more relaxed and like to take things slow and easy. They might be early for work but when it comes to things such as meeting friends, going for an event or the start of events etc, Ghanaians usually always arrive later than the prefixed time. If you are a person who keeps to time, you might want to be a bit flexible and lower your expectations of time-keeping in Ghana.
Do Not Expect Excellent Customer Service
Customer service is one of the things that needs to be improved in Ghana. Even in the best companies do not expect customer service to be spot on and do not compare customer service to that of other countries. The Ghanaian person will do what he or she can do to make you happy and satisfied but will not go overboard to satisfy your needs. If there is a mistake in an order or a service you can expect an apology but don’t expect a super quick fix. Problem will be solved but it will take a some few more minutes.
Here is a Video you can watch and i hope you enjoy your stay whenever you are in Ghana. If you have anything to share about your experiences please put them in the comments.