|Although English is an official language, it is
spoken only by highly educated people or those who work in the tourism
industry. The Asian community in Tanzania speaks Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu
in addition to English and Swahili.
Greetings are important, because they show
politeness and respect. The type of greeting offered depends on the person's
status and age. A common Swahili greeting among friends is "Hujambo,
habari gani" (How are you? What is your news?). Greetings may vary
according to the time of the day or the length of time since the last meeting.
is used to greet respected persons. Young children are taught to greet
older people by kissing their hands or kneeling down. Friends who meet
after a long time may shake hands and kiss each other on both cheeks.
Women gather to talk at the homes of their
friends and relatives, while men usually meet friends in public places.
Visiting is an important custom. Women often go visiting or receive visitors
in the afternoons. Hospitality is prized in Tanzania, and friends or relatives
who arrive from distant places are asked to stay overnight.
Did you know?
have a special way of measuring time. Sunrise, when the day begins, is
considered 1 a.m., Tanzanian time.
|In Tanzania, as in many regions of Africa, the
right hand is thought to be "clean" and the left hand "unclean." Therefore,
people use the right hand to eat or to give or receive gifts. The polite
way to accept a gift is to place the left palm under the right palm, so
that the right hand touches the gift first.
Did you know?
name of Tanzania's largest city, Dar es Salaam, comes from the Swahili
phrase, Bandari Ya Salama, which means Haven of Peace.