What Is Considered Rude In South Africa

There are millions of people living in South Africa, belonging to different ethnicities and from different cultures with individual and collective likes and dislikes. This should make you realise that there won’t always be something formal when talking about stuff like this, as what Mr. A finds rude might be fun to Me B – and both of them stay in South Africa.

However, there are some things that have been observed to be resented by people, indicating they find it rude and may be offensive. We will be talking about prominent ones here. This will particularly be useful for tourists traveling to the country for the first time.

What Is Considered Rude In South Africa

Not Greeting

When you met someone in South Africa for the first time, and you ignored greeting them, this is considered rude behavior. In fact, when you get to a person you have ever met before, wisdom demands you greet them warmly, and with their title if you can.

Don’t be Disrespectful or Dishonest

Except in cases where it is known that what’s happening at that time is simply joking around and having fun, it won’t be proper to go on disrespecting people and playing games with folks. It is rude to abuse the generosity of people, and they won’t be cool with you when you take them as a fool via your disrespectful or dishonest acts.

Don’t Spit in Public

Avoid spitting in front of people and in public. It is uncool and can be considered a rude and unruly act. If you have a cold, you can do your thing with tissues and discard them in the dustbin.

Cover Your Mouth When Yawning

When you don’t cover your mouth while yawning, it might make the other person in front of you think you don’t regard nor respect them. Hence, to avoid issues that can be avoided, be sure to always cover your mouth while yawning in public, or when you are in front of someone.

Participating In Political Discussions Loosely

There are South Africans that are so emotional with politics. They are obsessed with their own political philosophy, beliefs, and politicians. So, when you come around and then start speaking political stuff contrary to what they cherish, then you are inviting issues. Don’t forget that South Africa has some parts of her history still hurting and paining a lot. Some people built their political thoughts around some of these things. It is important to understand why they will find it rude and unpleasant when you now start talking down carelessly about what meant a lot to them. Therefore, you should avoid jumping into discussing political stuff in the country anyhow.

Talking Down On People’s Culture

As stated earlier, there are several ethnic groups in South Africa. Many people are from different places with different cultures. They grew up cherishing what they were given. Of course, some cultures indulge in some things that are out of place. But then, we should never talk down on the culture of others just anyhow. Those in question will find it very rude and unpleasant, and they won’t act cool with you

Not Saying Thank You

This is a big deal to many people in South Africa. If they helped you with one thing or the other or did something kind to you, and you failed to say thank you, it might be seen as rude behavior. The thing is, one of the implications such acts might bring is that they might be discouraged to replicate such nice actions again, for they might feel you don’t really deserve it after all. So, say thank you when someone hands you something, even if you are older than them. 


Of course, there are several other things people in South Africa will consider rude. For instance, showcasing bad table manners is something you should avoid when eating with others (taking humongous bites, chewing with your mouth opened, talking with your mouth full of food, and so on). Also, you shouldn’t scream at people unnecessarily just because they are serving you and you are paying them. In conclusion, you have to be very careful with the way you do your things when you are in South Africa

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