We all know that we don’t pat the back of a colleague in Korea to thank them for a “job well done”. Or eat with your left hand in India, or sip vodka in Russia. In many countries, these actions are harmless. But in others, they can give a wrong impression or cause offense.
In fact, whatever culture you’re from, it’s likely that you routinely do something that could cause offense somewhere else in the world. So here is:
A primer on how to avoid mistakes in Kenya
Although Kenya is predominantly Christian and somewhat liberal, there are areas with major Muslim influence, such at the Coastal regions, where it is considered indecent to wear short dresses. This is true in rural Christian areas as well. Beachwear is acceptable on the beach but not while strolling around town.
Even though some hotels allow topless or nude sunbathing, these are in restricted areas and not in public areas. Kissing or heavy petting is frowned upon in public, even though Kenyan youth engage in both liberally in night clubs. Homosexuality is against the law but is practiced secretly. Any overt displays of homosexuality may, at times, result in open hostility. It is best to be discreet if engaging in any such activities with travel mates or locals. However, it is customary to hold a same sex person’s hand while engaged in conversation.
With this, you had the primer on key facts about Kenya, and key facts on culture and customs. Another important part of the culture is the local food and the local drinks. Make sure you read our posts on Kenya food and drinks:
Other tips that you’d like to share on mistakes to avoid in Kenya? Please comment below.