Dining Etiquette in Kenya

Published: 30th June 2010
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When invited to a Kenyan home for a meal, show on time. It is rude to turn down a request especially at the last hour. During a function, food is plenty. The guests are given delicacies that are cooked by the women. These include meat, pilau, mukimo and sometimes chicken. Kenya's table manners are relatively formal. The dining patterns vary depending on the social class, ethnicity and location of the host. It is rude to refuse food given to you by a host. Even if you are full or do not like what has been presented to you, just accept and take even if it is a few bites.

Where there are many guests, the most honorable are served first followed by men, children and then the women. The special guests are seated in special seats and it is not a wonder to see them being given more special food than the rest of the group. The guests are supposed to wash their hands before and after a meal. A basin of water to wash hands may be passed around for everyone to use. Servants and women in the house normally bring courses to individual guests for one to choose what they want to have.

Take a small portion at first so as when you are urged to take another helping, you do not find it hard. The host finds great pleasure when she sees that the guests are enjoying the meals and taking large amounts of it. It is wrong to eat before the oldest male guest, so wait until he starts to eat then you can. It is also impolite to eat and drink at the same time. Drinks are served after the meals. It is polite to finish everything on your plate and afterwards to complement the lady host for her good food whether you found it so or not.

Dickson is the Chief Tour Guide and one of the Directors of Adventure Africa Expedition, he has traveled in many countries in Africa where he built the spirit of adventure and discovered nature hidden wonders in especially tailored walking trails like in Kisoro in Rwanda and Bwindi in Uganda both for Gorilla tracking. For more information on his work please visit http://advenafrica.com/index.htm

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