Zimbabwe is a country in Southern Africa. It is a landlocked country, and it is known for its dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife. Much of Zimbabwe’s landscape is within parks, games reserves, and safari areas.
However, there quite a number of other facts about Zimbabwe which a good number of people the world over do not know about. For example, how many official languages and currencies has Zimbabwe? What is the Zimbabwean male/female greeting process like? What is indirect eye contact viewed as? Why must you stick your tongue out, or lick your lips while looking at a woman in Zimbabwe?
The answers to all these and more are in the following 10 amazing facts about Zimbabwe. Happy reading!
President: Robert Mugabe
Currencies: US Dollar, Euro, Botswana Pula, GB Pound, Benminbi, Indian Rupee, and South African Rand
Government: Dominant Party Presidential Republic
Official Languages: 16: Chekwa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Tsoa, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa
Population: 13,061,239 (2012 Census)
Amazing Facts About Zimbabwe
1. Amazing Women Greeting
In rural areas, Zimbabwean women-men greeting is very distinct and interesting. They shake hands, step back, and then the amazing part starts. Having stepped back, they appose their hands and make hollow claps (with men genuflecting) while they say the greeting again.
2. Direct/Indirect Communication Style
Communication style is direct in the cities. But in the rural areas, communication style is the indirect one. Here is an example: when a woman gives birth, she is no longer addressed by her given name. She is called by the name of her baby. Example, Amai James (James’ Mother).
3. Direct/Indirect Eye Contact
In the cities, direct eye contact is the norm in Zimbabwe. This runs through every business dealings and interactions. It is amazing that indirect eye contact is considered dubious and rude. But in the rural areas, women respect men by avoiding direct eye contact.
4. Always Late
As for punctuality, in the business cities, people view timeliness as very important. But this is not so in the rural areas and also in personal or private functions. Take a party scheduled to begin at 7 pm for example. People may only begin to arrive at 7.30 or 8.00.
5. A Standing Customary Rule
As a standing customary rule, a woman is forbidden to have extramarital affairs. However, it is amazing that this is not binding on the men. A man has the right to and is even expected to bring along a second, third, or even a fourth wife to the home.
6. Never Point with Index Finger
Here is one gesture that in nearly all east African countries is a taboo: pointing at someone with the index finger. Quite unlike east African countries, in Zimbabwe, pointing with the index finger is not frowned at. So feel free to point at people with the index finger.
7. Whistling is Allowed
You might find it amazing to know another thing that is not seen as obscene: whistling. You can whistle to get someone’s attention, be that person a woman or a man. You also whistle to stop a taxi, a bus, or just about any moving vehicle.
8. Keep Tongue in Mouth
Here, however, is one thing you must do your utmost to avoid while in Zimbabwe: sticking out your tongue. It is better to avoid totally because you do not know when it would be considered rude or even insolent. But you are especially to be careful never to let it happen when with elderly women.
9. No Hissing Sound
Keep all hissing sounds quiet while in Zimbabwe. This is because hissing sounds or other sounds that could be mistaken for hissing are considered very rude. And do all you can to keep from speaking to especially an elderly person with your hands in your pockets.
10. No Lip Licking
Here is an obscene gesture you must avoid. Do not, whatever the case may be, do not lick your lips while looking at someone of the opposite sex. This gesture is considered very obscene. You are not likely to be able to explain it away if you try it. Amazing, isn’t it?