Togo, is a West African nation on the Gulf of Guinea. The country is known for its palm-lined beaches and hilltop villages. Koutammakou, inhabited by the Batammariba people, is a traditional settlement of fortress like clay huts dating to the 17th century.
In addition to these, there are a number of other funny facts about this country. For example, what do you to bones of meat in your food? What is the polite way to say you are satisfied? What parts of the body is it a must for women to cover; and what part is okay to expose? And what do others consider insolent that Togolese consider complimentary?
All these and more you will learn in the following 11 funny facts about Togo. Enjoy.
President: Faure Gnassingbé
Currency: CFA franc
Population: 7.552, 318 million (2015 estimate)
Government: Presidential Republic
Funny Facts About Togo
1. Greet When Coming; When Going
Greetings are elaborate in Togo. The funny part is that it is important to say hello to everyone when coming and going. Handshakes are important too. Also, try to get to know them, and you will fit in better and faster. Just make yourself feel like you are at home.
2. Communication is Indirect
Togolese hardly even go direct to what they mean to say. Rather, they often say what they feel you want to hear or what is expected to be said. Is that funny or what? In the same way, learn not to be too direct when dealing with them. You’d hurt them easily.
3. Very Hierarchical
In Togolese culture, the usual hierarchy is: Men, Women, Children…in that order. That means age and gender mean a lot to them. And that invariably means you need to learn the status of the person with whom you are dealing so as to know the proper level deference.
4. “Fat” is Complimentary
In a lot of cases, being direct is mixed with being polite. This is especially in cases that have to do with personal appearances. For instance, “You look fat today,” or “You got fat,” are compliments. Funny as this may sound, you are to accept them as positive remarks.
5. Eye Contact Between Mates
Direct eye contact is rare. This is especially when conversing with someone of higher authority. It is seen as rude to look at such a person in the face. But eye contact may be made with persons of equal or lower status.
6. Poor Time Keeping
Time keeping is very poor. The best you can expect concerning punctuality is to never expect it at all. A meeting slated for 10 am means people should show up between 11 am and 12 noon. Sometimes, they never even show up at all. Things hardly happen on time.
7. No Posted Bus Routes
You cannot find posted routes of buses. And you are advised not to schedule meetings or leave home for meetings based on bus schedules. There are none! Here is the funny past: buses come when they come; and you can wait for hours or for just a few seconds.
8. Roles by Gender and Status
Togolese society is very role-driven. This means that people of each gender and status already know their roles and usually never step out of such roles. This is especially so in rural and tribal areas. A woman, for instance, would never aspire to head a town.
9. To Cover and Expose
In most rural areas, as a cultural and not a religious rule, a woman’s legs must be covered at all times. And now the funny part: it is acceptable for her breasts to be exposed. However, uncovering her legs is something that is seen as taboo.
10. Just Eat it
It is seen as rude to smell food that has been cooked for you for any reason. It is rude to ask what it is you are eating as well. Togo is much a starving country; and a meal cooked for you in such a country is a big deal. So you are to eat it without asking any questions or trying to perceive any aroma.
11. Eat Bones; Belch Too
Finally on more funny thing: after eating, a slight belch indicates that you are politely saying you are satisfied. So don’t take offence if you experience it. Also, if meat is served, break the bones and suck the marrow. Not doing so is seen as wasteful.