Visiting a new country is an exciting adventure, yet navigating unfamiliar customs and norms can be challenging and your travel to Ghana will most likely be no exception. Before booking your flight to Accra, check out this guide.
Understanding the culture and etiquette of Ghanaians can enhance your experience and ensure respectful interactions with locals. Nothing quite compares to the discomfort of unintentionally offending someone.
It’s often the last thing anyone wishes for when exploring a new place. Being unwittingly involved in such situations simply because of a lack of knowledge can truly disrupt the joy of travel.
That said, to help you avoid cultural missteps, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide for tourists planning to visit Ghana, particularly during December, or those relocating to this beautiful country.
1. Learn Basic Language
Start by familiarizing yourself with common phrases in Ghana’s major languages. Twi is widely spoken, especially in Accra, but don’t assume everyone speaks it. Learn basic greetings and introductions in the local language of the city you’re visiting. Knowing how to ask, “How are you?” and respond, along with simple self-introductions, can go a long way in establishing connections.
2. Greet! Greet! Greet!
Ghanaians value greetings immensely. Whether it’s passing by a group of people or meeting someone on a stroll, greetings are essential. Not greeting might be perceived as unfriendly or proud behavior. Embrace the opportunity to make friends by respectfully acknowledging those you meet. However, remember to maintain appropriate boundaries.
3. Modesty in Dressing
Ghana values modesty in dressing. For casual occasions, opt for attire that isn’t too revealing. Save traditional outfits for special events, and dress formally when required. Comfort is essential, but being mindful of the occasion showcases respect for local customs.
4. The Right-Hand Rule
Using the right hand for eating, handshakes, and passing items is a cultural norm in Ghana. The left hand is traditionally associated with tasks considered less hygienic. If necessary, apologize if you must use your left hand for giving or receiving items, saying “sorry for left” to acknowledge the breach of etiquette.
5. Always Have Cash
Cash remains a primary mode of transaction in Ghana. While some places accept cards, having cash on hand is advisable for smoother transactions and convenience.
6. LGBTQI+ Community
It’s crucial to note that Ghanaian laws are not supportive of the LGBTQI+ community. While visitors needn’t be overly concerned, exercising caution and respect towards local laws and sentiments is recommended throughout your stay.
Understanding these cultural nuances can significantly enhance your experience while visiting Ghana. Engaging with the local customs and traditions demonstrates respect and appreciation for the country and its people.
Remember, Ghanaians are known for their warmth, breathtaking scenery, and delicious cuisine. Embrace the culture and immerse yourself in the beauty of this incredible destination for an unforgettable experience.
In addition to being a creative writer and content creator, Sefakor Humade is a true creative at heart. Believing in the transformative power of kindness, She envisions a world where everyone’s genuine compassion can make it a better place.