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Habits/Cultural Practices

Why are Africans so loud?

This is a particularly strange question, as I thought being loud is individualistic. But, if there is value to this claim, it possibly has to do with the nature of some sounds in African languages which, in themselves, mindful of their quality, pitch, and the strength required in producing them, can be considered loud. This is especially so, given the tonal nature of these languages. Again, possibly relevant, is the fact that Africa's cultures require Africans to call out to friends and neighbors in salutation, as one walks past their homes. From another perspective, consider the Bakweri people in the South West Province of Cameroon who have a fantastic culture of calling out— by ululating—after carrying out a dangerous task, as a way of alerting those around that all is well in the wake of the task just accomplished. If they fail to ululate, then those around begin moving towards the direction where the task was being carried out, as the implication is that those in harm's way have been hurt in the process, hence their inability to call out. This is especially noticed with the felling of trees.

Again, if Africans do not speak up, then nobody listens to them in a world that, hitherto, is obviously biased against the black being. Beyond cultural practices in any case, Africans and black people as a whole have, therefore, learned to raise their voices so as to be heard.

Do you call before you visit say friends or neighbors?

No, this is not African. The African visits whenever he wishes during normal visiting hours—daylight—and he is always welcome. It is the unspoken rule in almost every African home not to let a stranger leave a home without having eaten something. At the least, the stranger should be served drinking water.

Are Africans hospitable?

Africans are some of the most hospitable people on the face of the earth. African hospitality can probably only be challenged by Asian hospitality. Africans consider people they do not know as strangers, and they reserve the best they have for strangers. My acquaintances are usually in a state of disbelief when I assure them that I can guarantee them free accommodation in any African country where I have friends. This is possible because of the hospitality of Africans. If you are willing to share in what a family has, you can share with that family for as long as you want, and they would not expect a dime from you as compensation. Some families will even refuse it if offered.

This is hospitality beyond the comprehension of some cultures in which guests must alert their host of their intention to visit. Or consider guests being asked to visit after the family is done eating dinner if they were not purposefully invited to share in the meal, or else, in some cases, they are left sitting elsewhere while the family dines.

Are Africans polite?

Africans are polite and friendly to a fault, especially when they are relating to a stranger. They would say "hello" to people they meet on the way whether they know them or not. In fact, not greeting an African upon encountering him or her for the first time at the dawn of a new day is like alerting the concerned that one is not happy with him or her, unlike in some Western societies in which one goes past one's neighbor looking at him or her in the eyes, yet without exchanging greetings. In the same vein, it is not uncommon for Africans to receive a stranded visitor into their homes and share with them all they have without expecting anything in return. Or take the case of an African going to great lengths just so that an unexpected guest does not leave his or her home without eating. Indeed, Africans are friendly and equally polite.

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