10 Things You Should never do/say in Ghana
Culture is unique and dynamic at the same time depending on where one may find him/herself. In Africa and more specifically Ghana, core values are held in high esteem and morality is treated with so much decorum. Some things that one may do or say in Europe or Asia may not be acceptable in Ghana. Jovago brings you 10 things you must avoid doing or saying when in Ghana .
Giving or receiving something with your left hand
This actually, is something that most non-Ghanaians struggle to come to terms with because it is very normal in several other parts of the world. However, Ghanaians see the use of the left hand to give or receive items as well as show directions as very insulting. While in Ghana , kindly try to always use the right hand to avoid incurring the anger of anyone.
Fighting may be argued to be a personal thing caused by uncontrollable anger. In Ghana however, it is not acceptable to fight in public and in extreme cases, you can get arrested by the police for doing so. If you have any issues with someone, leave it to the police or security services to handle.
Engage in sexual act
This may be seen as extreme and although it rarely happens in other parts of the world , It is highly forbidden in Ghana. No one is permitted or allowed either by law or tradition to engage in any sexual act in public. Any deed of this magnitude is reported to the security services for proper action to be taken.
No farming on Thursdays
In many rural parts where most tourist sites may be found, farming is absolutely not an activity to undertake on a thursday. It is actually a taboo to farm on Thursdays.It is believed that this is the day when the ancestors go to farm for their own food.
Ancestral beliefs are the reasons given for this although it inhibits development in the agricultural sector as many investors shy away from doing agricultural business there.
No fishing on Tuesdays
Similarly, in most coastal areas in Ghana, fishing is prohibited on Tuesdays. This is also attributed to ancestral beliefs and taboos. Development is at its minimum as investors would seldom do business in a place where it is not allowed to work on certain days.
In Europe and certain parts of America, swearing may be allowed to pass. Sometimes it is frowned upon. In Ghana, it’s a no-go area. You are under no circumstance permitted to use certain words. For instance, the use of ‘’sh*t and f*ck’’ are allowed in certain parts of the world at certain times and with people of certain age brackets. However, in Ghana, the mere mention of these words induces punishment from elders and discontempt by colleagues and peers. The use of other vulgar words are also strictly prohibited.
Farting in Public
This is an act of indiscipline and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere in the world. In Ghana, this is highly frowned upon. It is not acceptable for any reason and shows gross disrespect to adults and peers. Whether you are a child or an adult, you have to excuse yourself when you feel the need to attend to ‘’nature’s call’’.
Press your thumb in someone's direction
This is actually a very interesting one and a contradiction of diverging cultures. In Europe, Asia and other parts of Africa, pressing your thumb against other fingers in the direction of someone simply means approval or acceptance. It generally means ‘’YES’’. In Ghana , it denotes an abusive gesture and an insult to one’s parents specifically the mother. As much as possible, avoid doing this in any part of the country when you are here.
Never appear before Royalty in provocative clothes or footwear
The way people dress in different parts of the world may vary for several reasons. When you live in Russia (extremely cold regions) and you visit Ghana (very hot and humid), you are tempted to wear something that exposes as much body parts as possible to get some air and coolness. This is normal depending on where you wear it to. When appearing before a chief or royal, it is not acceptable to wear clothes that expose body parts such as cleavage, thighs and back. Also, many ethnic groups do not allow visitors to appear before their chiefs with footwear as it shows a sign of disrespect.
Taking pictures indiscriminately
Lastly, when people visit different countries, there is always the temptation of taking as many pictures as possible to keep memories of these events and people. However, it is not advisable to take a snapshot of everything. In many places , it is allowed to take pictures of everyone or everything freely. In other places, there are strict rules concerning the taking of pictures. To be safe, ensure that you seek permission from appropriate authorities before you take a shot. This way, you have no issues.
Ghana is a beautiful place and everyone is invited. The only thing that stands between your experience and enjoying your trip down here is not knowing what not to do/say in Ghana. Ending up in trouble is the last thing any traveler wants when they travel.