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Cultural Gems of Africans



South Africa

Africans most prized gem is their cultural value; they are proud of their culture, as it represents who they are as individuals and as a people. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares 4 cultural gems of Africans.

Showing Respect To Elders

In African societies, elders are not treated like any other member of society, they are treated with respect. This is mainly because the African cultural value is based on foundations of the past and present, and for this reason elders are acknowledged and well respected. In gatherings, they are allowed to ask their questions and when they give opinions or advice, their opinions or advice is usually revered and abided by. Also, during mealtime they are naturally served first, before any other age group.

Pointing At Some With the Index Finger is Considered Rude

The use of pointing as a way of referring to or identifying someone, especially when done with your index finger, is considered rude and/or offensive in some African societies. If you must point when referring to someone, then you should try as much as possible not to be blatant about it, or simply turn your chin in the direction of the person while widening your eyes a bit.


Receive Items With Either Your Two Hands or Your Right Hand

In African societies, it is considered offensive to accept something being handed to you with your left hand, especially when you’re receiving the thing from an elder. It is more appropriate to receive things with either your two hands or your right hand. However, receiving items with your two hands is more commonly done when an elder is the one handing it out, rather than someone in your age group or in a lower age group.



Greetings are highly valued in African societies, mainly because the society values respect so highly and associates greeting with a show of respect. Greeting is a good way to make a positive impression on an African, especially when the greeting is directed at an elder. However, it is more common to see the younger one greeting the older one, than an older one greeting a younger one.This is because it is expected of the younger one to initiate the greeting, then the older one responds. A quick ‘hello’ or ‘hi’ will suffice for people within your age group, and for elders, a simple ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ or ‘good evening’ will suffice.

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