Thursday, July 11, 2013


Ethiopia Dos:

  • do show respect to elderly by taking off your hat or cap when talking to them
  • do use “Ato", "Woizero", and "Woizrity" to address a man, married woman, and unmarried woman respectively.
  • do when elderly come to join you and if you have already taken a sit, show respect to them by raising from your sit and greeting "nor". You will in reply be grated "be'igzier" and asked to take your sit.
  • do when you greet someone whom you respect, bow a bit stretch your hands to shaking hands. Your other hand may support the stretched hand by the elbow to show more formal respect.
  • do give way to old people and support them if they need take at least a bit of what will be served to you.
  • do take off your shoes when entering in to church or mosque buildings.
  • do eat local food with your right hand.
  • do know that most common form of a greeting is a handshake with direct eye contact. After a close personal relationship has been established people of the same sex may kiss three times on the cheeks. Across genders, men should wait to see if a woman extends her hand. 
  • do bring pastries, fruit, or flowers to the host, if you are invited to an Ethiopian’s home.
  • do give a gift with both hands or the right hand; never the left hand.
  • do know, that punctuality is not strictly adhered to although considerable lateness is also unacceptable.
  • do  offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served.

  • Ethiopia Donts:
    • do not spit in public.
    • do not use curse words.
    • do not hurry drinking coffeecoffee is a national drink and its drinking is a ritualized process that generally takes at least an hour.
    • do not ask what you are eating – you really do not want to know :)
    • do not eat local food with your left hand.
    • do not refuse, when are you offered a cup of coffee; it is impolite.
    • do not be grossed out when you see man-feeding-man in these restaurants. It’s called “Gursha” and it is a tradition.
    • do not forget to order at least one Wat- you haven’t had Ethiopian food unless you’ve tried at least one of these stews.
    • do not expect rigid schedules in Ethiopia. There may be an agenda, although it is not part of the local culture.
    • do not open gift when it is received.

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