Do Nigerians have better etiquettes than Indians ???

Greeting etiquettesWhile you stay in Nigeria you have to keep in mind that greeting people (known or unknown) is very much important in every day life. The daily life situations could be anything like passing someone in the corridor or street, meeting someone at a party, office or cultural event, approaching a security guard to open gate, getting your car filled by petrol pump attendant, plumber coming to your house for repair etc.  It is a way of life in Nigeria. You cannot avoid this and ignorance about this will label you as an arrogant person and your behavior will be equivalent to disrespect to others.

If you are on a street just say good morning, good afternoon or good evening as you pass through(even strangers expect some response). But while you reach your office, it has to be more elaborate. “Hello, how are you? How was the night? How is your family? are common greetings. Nigerian admire if some person of the foreign origin greet them in their own language be it Yoruba, Egbo or Housa. So learning some common greetings in local language is a great way to mix up with Nigerians.

Saying Good Morning in Nigeria

A Nigerian woman teaching her son to say Good Morning

If someone invites you in a party, it is important for you to attend party and ensure that the host acknowledges you presence. Try to mix-up in the party by shaking hands all around, or nodding, smiling and uttering greeting words. Shaking hands with ladies is also acceptable norm in south Nigeria but not in north Nigeria. Attending event is more important that to stay for the entire party time.

During my 3 years stay in Nigeria, I have learnt that Nigerian’s greeting culture is better than Indian’s. This I am telling you based on my experiences. Locals will look at you with strange eyes if you start talking to them without formal greeting. Some will even not notice your presence though they know that you are talking to them. There is no gap between seniors and juniors, rich and poor, elder or young generations for greeting exchange. I had to ensure that my kids have learnt this within one month of stay. Otherwise they would have been branded as uncultured Indian children.

If you have to get some work done from an official or even by your friend, starting discussion with normal greeting like “Good Morning, How are you, How is your family etc” will make your work half done. Next is to explain him your work and request for help. But if you do not start with normal greeting, you should be ready to make the things more complicated.

Nigerian lady

This young lady who was also our house-help has taught us Yoruba greetings

When I came back to India, I immediately noticed the difference of greeting culture. Saying “Good Morning” before starting any conversation with a person will most probably get one of the following reactions :

– Person will say Good Morning without any feeling (a formality).
– Will not react but only nod his head (as if he is doing me a favor).
– He will react as if he has not listened (he makes a point that he is superior to me).
– Start talking without any formal greeting (ignores my importance of greeting).

This does not go well with my family. However, we have learnt a lesson and we will continue to greet people with or without any response from the other people.


About Ajay Mishra
A technocrat who believes in deep rooted values of Indian culture and passionate about writing on issues related to social cause. Loves to travel across the globe and meet people from various cultural background. Fitness and yoga freak and loves light and soothing music. I love blogging and writing on issues related to common cause and my field of expertise. See my blog at:

2 Responses to Do Nigerians have better etiquettes than Indians ???

  1. Benu DUTTA says:

    Very nicely written Sir. When r we meeting each other?

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