Saturday, July 16: Kpandai

Let me take this chance to tell you a little bit more about Ghanaian culture. Greetings are important in Ghanaian culture. They will find it strange that we don’t regularly greet people that we don’t know walking along the street or the bus. There is a feel of community around here, and many people each day will drop by the house just to say “hi” and many will call on the phone with no other intention than to “greet you”. A common greeting in Ghana is “you’re welcome”, especially if you are a visitor or foreigner. This is not a response to when someone says “thank you”, but it is literally meant to convey that “you are welcome here”. I think it says a lot about the culture that they choose to greet one another this way.

On the street you may choose to wave to someone with your right hand or with both hands, but never with your left hand which is a sign of rudeness. Or shaking hands, you may show respect by supporting your right elbow with your left hand or tapping your heart with your right hand after the handshake. A casual handshake between friends will include snapping your middle finger with the middle finger of your friend.  It’s quite an interesting way to shake hands, one I have yet to master but will definitely show you all when I return.

Peace,
Gary

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This entry was posted in Rebuilding Lives Around the World, Rebuilding Lives in Ghana and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Saturday, July 16: Kpandai

  1. Lorna D'Souza says:

    What an interesting tidbit!!
    I’m sure everyone reading this post has tried out the handshakes you’ve described! (I know I did!)

    Take care and keep well,
    Lorna

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