Being a guest in Sirigu
Hospitality is a very important aspect of Ghanaian culture. People consider it an honour if you visit them. Of course it is important for a visitor to understand and respect the traditional customs on hospitality. Being received in Sirigu as a guest makes it necessary that the guest respect and use some rule of traditional protocol:
How to behave
- Take time to greet somebody. Not just by saying ''hi''. But by shaking hands (take time to feel each others right hand and to make contact), asking about the health of the person and the family. Make eye contact
- Greeting in a group: start with the person on the right moving toward the left
- Only after a greeting ceremony one is supposed to be a respected visitor.
- It is against all rules of politeness to start making a picture if no greeting has taken place and if no permission has been asked.
- Do not greet or eat with your left hand and do not sniff at food or beverages.
- Always invite a guest when you are eating or drinking. Eating together is a social activity. It is insulting to have somebody wait while you are eating.
- Elders are respected: Younger persons always offer seats and services to elders.
- A funeral is an important socio-cultural activity. Participation of an outsider in it is possible, but requires a good introduction and greeting and a contribution in kind: chickens, goats, drinks.
- Try to understand and use Ghanaian jokes: humor is a powerful tool to say things.
- Complaints may be reasonable and can be expressed: but always express them with respect and wonder. Irritation can be understood as lack of respect and rude.
- Wearing clean and well maintained cloths is a sign of respect. Sunbathing is not advised in the hot climate and not understood by local people.
- And: When you are forced to pay a bribe, you have failed to build up a good relationship: you do not bribe your brother or sister.