When shaking hands, it is appropriate for the guest to first greet the person on his/her right-hand side and work their way left. This ensures that the guest's palm makes contact with the palm of the person receiving the handshake - touching the back of the hand instead of the palm is considered insulting or unlucky. Guests are expected to begin by greeting the most elderly person present.
The same ritual is expected to be observed upon leaving as well as arriving, and should be carried out until sufficient familiarity has been established, at which point the ritual becomes redundant.
When greeting dignitaries, such as village or tribal elders, this ritual is expected to be carried out by all persons present regardless of age or status.
If attending a funeral, women (including foreigners) must cover their heads with a hat or simple black cloth wound round the head. A man must not have his head covered. The same applies to church-going, weddings, and naming ceremonies.
Drinking alcohol and smoking in public are serious faux-pas among Ghanaians and should be avoided, both by Ghanaians and foreigners. Public intoxication to any degree is generally viewed with extreme disapproval. Such activities, though, are perfectly acceptable in a local bar ("spot"). When drinking alcohol, it is a common custom among Ghanaians to pour the last few drops on the ground as a libation for the gods. People who decline from drinking alcohol may accept an alcoholic drink with gratitude, raise it to their lips without drinking, and pour it upon the ground. Raising the glass to the lips signifies gratitude and thus pouring the drink away is a socially acceptable alternative for those who do not drink (this predominates in central and northern Ghana, where local populations often contain a higher number of Muslims than in the south, and this custom permits non-drinking Muslim Ghanaians to join social events without offending those present by refusing a drink or without breaking their religious laws).
Taking photographs of people unknown to the photographer must be conducted with the same level of consideration in one's own country. Most Ghanaians are happy to 'pose' for pictures as it is considered polite.
In public, it is not normal to find people of the opposite sex holding hands. If one should find the same sex holding hands, it is often a signifier of friendship. Social reaction to public display of affection differs: it depends on social class, education, exposure and other factors. Generally speaking, it is viewed upon as something private and should be kept that way. Homosexuality is a no-go topic simply because people just don't know how to react to such. Often some just resort to a moral and biblical reasons for objection to homosexual relationships. homosexuality is neither condemned nor condoned by Ghanaians). Male hand-holding is sometimes less prevalent in large cities.
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