If you’re giving a gift to a Ghanaian friend soon—and it’s your first time to do so—you have to do it in such a way that accords with their etiquette.
Don’t worry, their etiquette is actually very simple and few compared to that of other countries. Doing this will get you closer to them and make them very happy to receive your gift.
Gift-Giving Customs in Ghana
Now, let’s see the appropriate customs for giving gifts in Ghana. All these tips and rules apply to personal and business gifting.
- Gifts are typically not opened when received, but the person may do so.
- The price of the gift doesn’t matter, as it’s always the thought that counts.
- Your gift should be always be wrapped. The wrapping colour can be anything as long as it’s presentable.
- You should hand the gift with the right hand or both hands. Never use the left hand because it is a symbol of insincerity and it’s the cleansing hand for the body to the Islam community.
- If you are invited to a Ghana home, you aren’t expected to bring a gift. Although, it’s always very nice to give the children a gift as this shows you were thinking of them.
- Business gifting is practised in Ghana. It is done by business owners to foster good relationships with and show their appreciation to their partners, suppliers, employees, and clients.
Christmas hampers are popular here, which contain an assortment of traditional goods, like biscuits, crackers, mince pies, pudding, jam, and nuts, in addition to drinks such as wine or juice.
They can also include pens or notebooks with the company logo and name on them.
- During Christmas, people will first go to church in the morning wearing beautiful traditional clothes. Then the family will go home to exchange gifts with each other.
If you wish to send a gift for Christmas, they have to receive it at least a day before so it’s in time for the special occasion.
- Always respect the person or their family’s ethnic group, religion, and political affinity. So, be careful and only give a gift that isn’t related to any of them nor disrespects them.
- When giving a gift, don’t be rude or noisy to avoid scaring the kids. The reason is that some families may view other races as hostile and as a result, have conceptually told their kids about them.
- Depending on whether a business is local or multi-national, the gifts that can be given or presented to the bosses and its employees can have restrictions. For example, you may not be able to give someone a pack of cigarettes or beer in business settings in Ghana.
- People often donate money or goods to the family of a friend or colleague who has passed away. This is to cover their funeral expenses or help support their family.