Tuesday, March 8

Miss Manners, Zambia-Style

Of course, all cultures have their own idiosyncracies, and Zambians are no different. If you get the chance to go to Zambia, there are a couple things you might want to think about. The Zambian has a great list of 14 things to keep in mind when in Zambia. For example:

After greetings have been exchanged and you are just socializing, it's considered normal for a guest and host to sit quietly without any conversation for while. That silence may be torture to a Westerner but most Zambians find it normal. So don't try to fill empty silent moments by just saying something because you are feeling uneasy or bored. For example, in the rural areas, greetings take time as host and guest have to exchange malonje after first greeting each other. Malonje is the traditional custom in which the guest describes in detail the purpose of their trip and the host responds and describes in detail the state of the family health and what every member of the family may be doing. It also takes hours to cook a chicken because it has to be chased and slaughtered before the meal is cooked. Take your time and be patient.
This advice can be very difficult to follow for an anxious Westerner.