Etiquette in Côte d'Ivoire
“In Abidjan you wouldn’t want to walk [up] to somebody and say ‘salaam aaleykum,’ or in somebody’s house and say salaam aaleykum. Most people who live in Abidjan or on Abidjan are Christian and they strive to live like French people. They dress like French people, they talk like French people. So they strive to behave and act like [the] French. So they speak like [the] French, Parisian French. Act like [the] Parisian French, eat like [the] Parisian French. Remember I told you in Abidjan, for the most part, if you’re invited [to join a] family, you’ll be seated around a dining table where you’ll eat with fork, a knife and a fork. They expect you not to switch the utensils, it would be rude. At all times you’ll keep both hands on the table. You’re not to show your elbows on the dining table, it’s rude. You’re not to switch your knife from the fork, it’s rude. You’re not to put your hands under the table, it is rude. So in Abidjan you’ll to act like you were in Paris, but keeping in mind that you’re in Africa. If you are in the North, you can say salaam aaleykum walking into any house because, and the North starting from Bouaké all the way up to the border with Burkina Faso, because for sure 96% of the people up north are Muslims. So when you’re walking in a house you can say ‘salaam aaleykum’ and you’ll hear ‘waaleykum asalaam.’ ‘Peace be upon you.’ ‘Peace be upon you, too.’”
In this video, a Côte d'Ivoire expert discusses etiquette in Côte d'Ivoire.