Cultural Etiquette While Traveling in Algeria

Music group at Setif

Algeria is a traditional Muslim country and is a fascinating place to visit. The country houses many historical and cultural monuments and artifacts making it a preferred tourist destination. While traveling in Algeria, it is important to follow the cultural etiquette in Algeria to respect the local customs and cultures of the land.

Meeting and Greeting

The people of Algeria are warm and hospitable. When meeting and greeting in Algeria while handshakes are being exchanged, inquiries will be made regarding the family, work, health, wealth being, and the weather. The exchange of this type of information is essential and expresses genuine concern for others. You might see people continuing to hold their hands after the handshake and even kisses on the cheek being exchanged. This will happen only among close friends and family.

Greeting Algerian Women

When meeting with Algerian women it is polite to nod first and wait if she will extend her hand for a handshake. It is inappropriate to make prolonged eye contact with women or ask personal questions. If you are a woman traveler in Algeria, you should note that religious men will not shake a woman’s hand.

Music group at Setif
Music group at Setif

Gift Giving

Giving a gift while visiting is welcomed and regardless of the size of the gift, the gesture is what is important. When you are invited to an Algerian house consider bringing your host pastries, flowers, or fruits. If there are children in the house, they will greatly appreciate some sweets. Always give your gift with your right hand.

Hospitality and Hosting

Hospitality and food are linked in an Algerian home. Therefore, it is a great honor if you are invited to join the family for a meal. When in the house, you should remind yourself to remove your shoes at the door. Women and men will eat separately. You should always greet the eldest person first and move around the room to your right to greet each one individually. It is considered polite to offer hostess assistance with the preparation of the meal and to clean afterward. Your offer will be likely refused but still appreciated.

About the author

Joshua Mok has been living in Tunisia since 2016. He has traveled extensively throughout the country, and has firsthand experience with the language, people, and culture of North Africa. It is his passion to introduce to others some of the best destinations in North Africa that he has experienced.

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