Academic Master

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CULTURAL ETIQUETTE IN CONGO AND LIBYA

Congo is home to a lot of diverse ethnic groups and hence focusing on the significant diversity and different norms and values which are present in the region. Throughout its prehistory, these racial groups were separated from each other by the dense forests that surround the country.  The Congolese culture comprises of the traditional influence as well as influence assimilated during the colonization period. A large number of Congo citizens profess Christianity as their original religion. Casual clothes are allowed in Congo, but most of them believe that nice and decent looks attract respect. A large population of Congolese put on clean, lenient garments and colored outfits. Women dress in long skirts as trousers are not allowed. Greetings are significant in Congolese life.  Saying hi before addressing any matter is crucial. Particular respect is also given to elders and village headmen.

In Libya the official language is Arabic. Most Libyans are Muslims as they believe that it is only Islam that can meet economic, political and social uncertainties of humanity.  Alcohol has been banned in Libya where nightclubs and bars have been closed down. Provocative dressing codes and entertainment have also been outlawed. Using the Hijri calendar in Libya is mandatory. Men greet each other through handshaking.  People are not allowed to say their first names unless asked. Business cards can be issued to business associates. Appointments are significant and need to be communicated early like two days before the day that the meeting is scheduled. Shake hands at the beginning and end of meetings. Arriving at meetings on time is crucial.

Libya Congo
Religion The major religion is Islam who is believed to offer solutions to all problems in humanity.  Christianity is the dominant religion where they believe in the existence of God and life after death.
Appearance Maxi dresses. The provocative dressing has been banned. Women are not allowed to show their body parts. Provocative dressing is highly punished in the society, and the people involved disrespected.  Congolese put on linen clothes and colorful outfits. Women wear long skirts; trousers are never allowed for women. Decent women are highly respected in the society.
Behaviors. §  The most common. Shake hands at the beginning and end of meetings. Gifts are issued with two hands the right hand.

§   Receivers of gifts do not open them immediately after receiving them. It is always good to accept tea or coffee offers. Short prayers are said before all meals. Eating should be done using the right hand. Looking each other in the eyes while talking is highly encouraged.

Greetings are significant in Congolese life.  Saying hi before addressing any matter is crucial. Special respect is also given to elders and village headmen.  Taking photos randomly is prohibited in Congo especially in militias, borders, and checkpoints. In Congo, no provocative dances are allowed as well as bars and night pubs. Effective and respectful relations which each other is highly valued. Women are not allowed to the men directly in the eye as that would be a sign of disrespect.

 

Communication The official language is Arabic.  Using the first name is not allowed unless permitted.  One can issue business cards to the associates. Handshaking is crucial before and after business meetings.  Libyans take their processes slowly and have effective negotiation skills. The official language is French. Hands are shaken in the encounter and before departure. Senior officials are addressed in formal titles. Requests for the meeting are sent through formal writing.

Congolese are fast business decision makers.

References

Gesteland, Richard R. Cross-cultural business behavior: Marketing, negotiating, sourcing and managing across cultures. Copenhagen Business School Pr, 2002.

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