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Zanzibar, Tanzania

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

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We asked people in Tanzania 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!...

"It is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions when visiting Tanzania. Avoid making negative comments about the country or its people, as this can be seen as offensive. Additionally, it is important to dress modestly and to avoid public displays of affection. It is also important to be aware of the local religious beliefs and to be respectful of religious sites. Finally, it is important to be aware of the local language and to avoid speaking in a loud or disrespectful manner," remarked another expat who made the move to Tanzania.

"I had diarrhea on a bus ride to a rural village. My husband had to get the bus to stop in the middle of the bush and went on top of the bus to grab my toilet paper, passed it to me in full view of everyone then I went into the bush to go to the bathroom while everyone had to wait. (Tanzanians view the use of toilet paper to be unclean). I confused the word AIDS with AUNTY in kiswahili, in front of all my Tanzanian in-laws..," explained one expat living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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Other Questions:

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

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

If your answer relates to a specific city or town in Tanzania, please include the name of the city/town below:


About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Zanzibar, Tanzania

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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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