Dumelang, bagaetsho ( Hello all) These little words can save your life in Botswana. Greetings are key and pivotal in Botswana culture. Oh, sorry you are probably wondering where in the world is that! Botswana is the land of diamonds and game. It was first spoken in Botswana!
Madume (greetings) play a pivotal role and are a critically important part of Setswana culture. Batswana are a highly interactive society. The first step to any form of interaction, however, is through greeting people, you convey a message very packed. The message is:
I value and respect myself as a person.
I recognise you and your personhood.
You are welcome.
Greetings are perceived to serve certain specific purposes in human interactions such as paving conflict resolution and creating an atmosphere of ease among people and creating a conducive climate of communication to flow.
The level of self respect and that of others is usually judged by whether or not a person greets others.
Greetings determine how one is perceived by society. Whatever you do, always remember to greet people before you ask them questions or for assistance or start a conversation. If you do not greet you are likely to be misunderstood and perceive as rude, proud or snobbish.
So watch it when you are in Botswana. Be sure to greet people!
The lack of greetings in one’s interactions with people can adversely affect their business.