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Namibia Customs & Etiquettes
 
 
 

Extended greetings and handshakes are very important in most Namibian cultures. When food and drink is offered, it is polite to accept. There is a general emphasis on emotional restraint in public, and public displays of affection between spouses or lovers are frowned upon, especially in rural areas.

Weddings are extremely important social events in Namibia, bringing family and friends together to sing, dance, and feast. Most weddings combine old and new elements. Many Owambo couples, for example, say their vows in a church ceremony accompanied by identically-dressed bridesmaids and groomsmen, then exit to a crowd of guests shouting praises, dancing, and waving horsetail whisks.

Most households are not nuclear families, but contain other kin as well. The head of the household manages domestic finances, makes important decisions, and organises productive activities.

Corporate kin groups are formed by ties traced through women (matrilineal), men (patrilineal), or both (bilateral), depending on ethnicity. These kin groups provide a support network for their members and control joint property, especially livestock; in the past, they also played significant roles in political and religious affairs. There has been a general shift from matrilinealism to patrilinealism. For example, wives and children in matrilineal communities can now assert rights to the property of deceased husbands and fathers, which has been traditionally inherited by the man's matrilineal relatives (his siblings and sisters' children).

Namibians are very proud of their country. It is a well developed country (albeit still a developing nation) with all the modern amenities and technologies. Don't show up wearing khaki shorts and a safari hat; people will laugh. In fact, Namibians refer to this kind of tourist as The Khakis in a derogative manner. And if you ask where the 'real' Africa is (ie, the Africa of Tarzan), Namibians may very well be offended.

 

 
 

 



 


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