Nigerian Tourism: 10 Ways to be Culturally Respectful in Nigeria

Obudu Nigerian Tourism

Obudu Resort Nigeria

As the world becomes increasingly globalised and travel and exploration becomes ever more integrated into our lives, it is important to learn how to “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” when in a foreign land, and respectability is key!

Every Monday we invite you to add another country to your travel list. This week we propose five ways to be respectful in our beloved Nigeria. If you are interested in exploring Nigerian tourism here are a few tips!

  1. Address people as ma and sir/oga, and add a bow or curtsy with your elders.
  2. Accept lateness into your life, permanently. If an hour has passed and you think you’ve been stood up wait five more minutes and they’ll likely show up.
  3. Dancing is compulsory and acceptable, as long as you can get someone else to join you.
  4. Relinquish your right to privacy. In a communal society trivial conversation goes out the window, as everyone thinks it is normal to discuss intimate and uncomfortable issues with you. Store keepers and strangers recommend you creams for pimples, see your not married and ask if you are being too easy, say you’ve gained weight and recommend a diet or congratulate you depending on how much weight you’ve gained.
  5. God belongs in every conversation and in every situation.
  6. Never say no to food or water even if you are on the verge of exploding.
  7. Do not bring anything when invited to eat a Nigerian person’s house, thoughts that will proceed in your hosts mind “Do they not want to eat our food, is that why? As if we will poison them?”
  8. Any surface can become a drum.
  9. Loud talking is acceptable and welcomed.
  10. There is in fact an etiquette to eating with your hands, always wash them before and after. Never get food on your palms, only on the beginning of your fingers. Warning: Nigerians do not eat rice with their hands.

Wild Card

11. Tip every policeman or woman unless you already have one on your pay role (this point does not apply to villages or small towns).