Saturday, September 18, 2021

Traditions & Customs in Comoros

AfricaComorosTraditions & Customs in Comoros

Despite the fact that the Comoros is a rather liberal Muslim nation, it is considered impolite for women to show their shoulders, much of their breast, knees, and, particularly, their stomach and lower back. Cover these regions with shirts or shawls. Foreign, non-Muslim women will not be expected to cover their heads. Local ladies are completely clothed while swimming. Foreigners are not required to do this, however swimming in shorts and a swimming shirt is more polite than swimming in a bikini or topless. Men should wear shorts that fall below the knee, but shorter shorts on a guy are less objectionable than shorter shorts on a woman. Public displays of love between men and women are frowned upon, but one may sometimes witness a Comorian man and woman momentarily holding hands (in the nightclubs some locals seem to ignore Muslim convention).

Non-Muslim religious proselytizing is prohibited, as is the distribution of Bibles to locals. Locals are extremely tolerant and kind to non-Muslims, but avoid seeming to be attempting to convert them.

Drinking alcohol in public is considered impolite, even if it is common in nightclubs. Unless they cater to foreigners, most restaurants do not offer alcohol.

“Kwesi” is used to welcome an elder. When the elder says anything like “mbona, mkana baraka,” you reply with “salaama.”

Giving candy to youngsters on the street is a terrible idea. Because locals are used to visitors, this seldom happens, and they are generally content to converse with you, children included. When visitors start giving out presents and money, locals will see Westerners as wealthy and carefree with money, eliminating many chances for personal connection with them. Children will pester visitors for candy and money. Tourists that do this demonstrate contempt for locals by thinking that money/sweets are what they want from tourists and placing that between them rather than making an effort to get to know locals, and by being unaware of the repercussions of their behavior.

Since it was reportedly found that a Western guy, a 14-year resident of Grand Comore, had been producing pornographic films and pictures, as well as abusing children on the islands, the inhabitants are very opposed to being recorded or photographed. Person responses to being photographed may vary, but taking illegal pictures of locals would, at best, insult an individual and may result in violent reactions by the subject.