Thursday, August 11, 2022

Traditions & Customs in Mauritania

AfricaMauritaniaTraditions & Customs in Mauritania

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Learn how to say Salaam alaykum and use it to welcome others. If you’re a man, don’t attempt to shake hands with a woman, and if you’re a woman, don’t try to shake hands with a guy (note that some African women may shake a man’s hand, but it’s better not to try to start contact, simply follow their lead). You may, however, greet each other by placing your hand over your heart.

Outside of Nouakchott, where you may not be given silverware, be cautious to eat with your right hand. The left hand is designated for the restroom, as it is in other parts of the Arab world. If you’re left-handed, give it your all.

It is not necessary to cover your head, although it is considered courteous. It may reduce the inquiry “Madame, ou bien Mademoiselle?” but Westerners, particularly women, may face unwelcome scrutiny and mild harassment across the nation. Be warned, though, that many Mauritanians, both men and women, mistake direct stare for a sexual invitation. There’s even a Hassiniya term, ayna m’tina, which means “strong eyes,” to characterize what many consider to be an aggressive behavior. However, just because you’re in a foreign nation doesn’t give the guys carte blanche to be jerks. Calling someone out on their poor behavior, or pointing it out to the onlookers, may frequently be effective. You may demand respect if you offer it. Even though they push you to see how far they can go, the Moors admire women who stand up for themselves.

Avoid touching in public if you’re traveling with someone of the opposing sex. Two guys holding hands is really far more frequent than a woman and a man. When it comes to clothing, the more flesh you expose, the more unwanted attention you’ll get. Women may wear pants in Nouakchott, but tank tops and knee-length skirts are not permitted. For ladies, long skirts are the ideal option. It’s also a good idea to keep your arms covered. Trousers expose the crotch region, which may be upsetting to those in the countryside who aren’t as accustomed to seeing this as city dwellers. The majority of people will be courteous, and you will have no idea what they are thinking.

There is never a non-sexual reason for a woman to go out in private with a guy. Don’t go inside an office, the rear of a store, or anyplace else if they ask you to. The guys are well aware that such a request is ridiculous, and no one would ask you for a private conversation unless they really cared. If you let yourself be alone with a guy for even a short period of time, everyone will think you had sex and evaluate you accordingly. As a knucklehead, not as a scumbag.

If you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender tourist, do not attempt to open up about your sexuality to any Mauritanian. They will retaliate vehemently. Also, do not engage in any public actions that might suggest that you are LGBT: Mauritania has a death penalty for homosexuality.

Nasrani, Toubac, and Toubab all refer to white people. This is the moniker that little kids, and sometimes nasty adults, will call you. Nasrani refers to someone from Nazareth. Christians are all honorary Nazarenes since they follow Christ’s teachings and because Christ is from Nazareth.

Be wary of individuals who attempt to take advantage of your politeness to try to sell you anything. Be careful that nearly everyone who attempts to befriend you in a market area is attempting to sell you something at a high price. If you refuse to look at their souvenir store, they may attempt a variety of tactics to persuade you to purchase from them (including “offering them to you as a present”). Some may even accuse you of not loving Africans if you refuse to look at their business. If someone is bothering you beyond reasonable bounds, it is not rude to tell them flatly that you are not interested. If they ask for something you have, just claim you don’t have it right now and will be able to offer it to them in a month or two.

How To Travel To Mauritania

By plane Mauritanian Airlines, travels to Bamako, Dakar, Abidjan, and Nouadhibou from Nouakchott International Airport (IATA: NKC). It also gets Air Algérie and Air France flights from Algiers and Paris, respectively. Tunisair, Senegul Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, and CanaryFly all have flights to Tunis, Senegal Airlines to Dakar, Turkish...

How To Travel Around Mauritania

By train In Mauritania, there is just one railway line that connects Nouadhibou, Choum, and Zouerat, yet it is a tourist destination in and of itself. Although many claim it to be the world's longest train, with over 150 carriages and a length of over 2 kilometers, it is most...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Mauritania

To enter, citizens of all Western countries need a visa. West African passport holders do not need a visa. Mauritania visas for 0-30 days are available on arrival for 120 Euros as of August 2015. Overland travelers may get them in Rabat, for example, where a single entrance visa costs...

Accommodation & Hotels in Mauritania

Accommodation is accessible in all price levels, with the highest-end hotels available exclusively in Nouakchott and Atar. In the Adrar and Nouadhibou, "Auberges" and Campsites rent beds/mattresses for as low as 1500 ouguiya. In the remainder of the nation, there is typically at least one hotel in the provincial capitals,...

Destinations in Mauritania

Regions in Mauritania Coastal Mauritania is a small stretch of land with a smashing Atlantic shoreline and the capital city of Mauritania. In the south, the Sahelian Mauritania semi-arid area includes the patchily green Senegal River basin. Saharan Mauritania has a vast northern desert region that is mostly desert. Cities in Mauritania Nouakchott,...

Things To See in Mauritania

The Adrar massif in the north has some of the most beautiful desert landscapes in the world. Explore the beautiful, secret oasis that have given water and shelter to merchants traversing the Sahara for ages by driving off-piste over rugged terrain and into tight valleys. Two of the country's...

Food & Drinks in Mauritania

In Nouakchott, there is a good selection of restaurants with meals ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 ouguiya. The menus at most restaurants in the capital are similar: basic pizzas, hamburgers, sandwiches, and salads. The route leading from the Stade Olympique to the French Embassy is lined with eateries. Pizza...

Money & Shopping in Mauritania

Souvenirs may be purchased at Nouakchott's Marche Capital and Marche Sixieme, as well as tourist stores in the Adrar. Although the fabric will be sold in shops throughout the nation, Kaedi is known for its tie-dying. In general, the quality of most Mauritanian souvenirs falls short of expectations. Leather goods,...

Internet & Communications in Mauritania

Mattel (great English website), Mauritel Mobiles, and Chinguitel are the three GSM network providers. For three of them, prepaid plans are available. GSM-World can provide further information about coverage and roaming. Satellite phones are an excellent option for excursions into the desert where there is no GSM network. Thuraya, Iridium,...

Language & Phrasebook in Mauritania

The official language is Arabic. The majority of Moors speak Hassaniya Arabic, while black Africans in the south speak Pulaar, Wolof, and Soninke, among other languages (especially in the Guidimakha region around Selibaby). Many people still speak French. This is particularly true in the vicinity of towns. Individuals in...

History Of Mauritania

Ancient history The Bafours were mainly agriculturalists, and they were among the first Saharan peoples to forsake their nomadic past. They moved south as the Sahara became more desiccated. Many Berber tribes claimed Yemeni (and sometimes other Arab) ancestors. Although there is no evidence to back such such assertions, a...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Mauritania

Stay Safe in Mauritania The region surrounding the Western Sahara is severely mined, and it is not recommended to go across it. Banditry is well-known along Algeria's and Mali's border regions. The only paved road leading from Morocco is particularly hazardous, since it has recently been the location of Al...

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