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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Nairobi?

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We asked people in Nairobi if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!...

"Yes. A very friendly person taught me the local custom of calling a person by his surname instead of by his first name as a form of acknowledging friendship and honoring his bloodline. When she then called a person by his first name I asked why without thinking. I did not realise that I was putting her in a very bad spot as it blatantly highlighted a sensitive political situation," wrote a member who made the move to Nairobi, Kenya.

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"In Nairobi, it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. It is important to dress modestly and to avoid public displays of affection. It is also important to be aware of the local language and to be respectful when speaking to locals. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local religious beliefs and to be respectful of them. It is also important to be aware of the local customs regarding food and to be respectful of them. Finally, it is important to be aware of the local customs regarding greetings and to be respectful of them," explained one expat living in Nairobi, Kenya.

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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Nairobi?

If you live in Nairobi, newcomers to Nairobi would love to hear your answer to this question.


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