Customs and traditions
When visiting a Cameroonian home, you prefer to talk about the family and the village, and avoid political and religious discussions – at least at the first visit. In working life, punctuality and personal contacts are important.
In Cameroon, most people greet each other through a regular handshake. If you know each other well, you usually use your fingers as a sign of friendship. Some cheek pussies (once on each cheek), especially in the French-speaking parts of the south. Both men and women can sometimes hold hands as they walk, or touch each other when they talk.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Cameroon, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Common conversation topics when meeting for the first time are family and the village or region you come from. Other popular topics are football, music and food. Politics and religion should wait until you get to know each other better. Humor is appreciated; that as a visitor joking about himself can help break the ice and give both respect and friends.
In working life
According to Abbreviationfinder, Cameroonians often dress quite formally at work and in social contexts. Clothes are an important status symbol and as visitors one should be well dressed to be taken seriously.
When you come to the workplace, it is important to take time to greet all colleagues by shaking hands. In the workplace, most people (including managers and subordinates) do each other and address each other with first names. As visitors, it is still good to address superiors with Mr (mister) or Mrs (mistress).
In the public sector, working hours are not as accurate, while punctuality is important in the private sector. Deadlines are usually liquid. Parties and other social events usually begin one or a few hours after the appointed time.
Personal contacts are important in business. Good personal relationships can create trust that facilitates business operations.
Bringing small gifts with you is an African custom that visitors should live by. This applies to business acquaintances as well as the host or hostess as well as the children at private family invitations. For example, the hosts can provide fruit, wine or whiskey (but do not provide alcoholic drinks to Muslims). Sweets or school supplies are good for the children.
Food and meals
Meals are central to social living. In several of the country’s regions, men and guests eat before the women and children. Washing your hands before the meal belongs to the label. Traditionally, Cameroonians eat with their hands (just the right hand), either from their own plate or from a joint platter. However, influence from the western world has meant that many nowadays eat with cutlery from each plate.
The base of the meal is often cooked cereal or cooked root vegetables. In the south you eat mostly root vegetables like cassava, in the savannah the staple goods are corn and food bananas, and in the north eats sorghum and millet. Rice and pasta have also become popular. The staples are usually cooked to a thick porridge. The sauce is served with a sauce made of palm oil and ground peanuts, and sometimes even fish or meat. Vegetables such as ocher and squash are also served. Common spices are strong peppers, onions, ginger and tomatoes. Fresh fruits such as banana, mango, papaya, oranges and avocado are common as a dessert or as a snack.
On festive occasions such as weddings and funerals, chicken, goat, sheep, or peanut are served. For the meat, drink palm wine, millet beer, soft drinks and more.
According to Countryaah, Cameroonians celebrate the Christian and Muslim holidays respectively. In addition, Independence Day is celebrated on January 1, National Day on May 20, and Unity Day on October 1 to celebrate Southern Cameroon’s independence from Britain and its association with French Cameroon in 1961.
Campaign against corruption
As part of a long-running campaign against corruption, former Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni and a former Interior Minister are arrested. They are accused of extensive embezzlement in connection with the purchase of a jet in the United States in 2004 for use by the president. The plane cost $ 31 million and was described as new, but already during the first flight, it got engine trouble and was forced into an emergency landing with the president and his family aboard. Upon closer inspection afterwards, the plane was revealed to be old and worn but freshly painted. How much money has been lost does not appear.
Former minister is convicted of embezzlement
Former Interior Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya is sentenced to 25 years in prison for embezzlement in connection with the aircraft business in the United States in 2004 (see April 2012).
Former head of government is arrested for embezzlement
Former Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni and former Interior Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya are arrested on suspicion of embezzlement in connection with a 2004 US plane purchase of President Biya. The plane cost $ 31 million and was described as new, but already during the first flight, the plane was forced to land with the president and his family on board. An audit revealed that the plane was old and worn but freshly painted. How much money has been misappropriated does not appear.