Our Culture and Customs

We all carry our cultural suitcase with us – filled with values, attitudes, beliefs, ways of doing and saying things which we often do not even notice because they come naturally to us. But the way we do things differs a lot from the way people in other cultures do them. What’s perfectly normal or right for us might be unacceptable for other cultures. To best avoid cultural misunderstandings with your African guests we invite you to learn a little about the cultures of the African Great Lakes Region, to better understand why some things are done different and to encourage a great intercultural experience.

To neatly summarise the cultural life of such a diverse region is next to impossible. The cultures of this area are characterised by significant ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity. Often the living conditions in rural areas (where the vast majority of people live) differ a lot from the situation in the cities where people are more likely to have access to safe water, adequate sanitation and health services. ‘Central African’ cultures differ from those in Australia – gestures and greetings are more exaggerated, gender roles contrast, personal space is very minimal, time is often seen as more fluid and knowledge is passed through generations via storytelling. But all this depends also on the person who you are meeting!

Read more about the history, customs and culture of our people: