Your new local habits in South Africa

Hello everyone,

Living in South Africa is a great way to immerse in a new culture and lifestyle.

Have you embraced local customs since you've lived in South Africa? If so, which one(s)?

Did local customs change the way you see things, appreciate life or organize your daily routines? As far as the language is concerned, did you learn new expressions or words and do you use them?

What do you like most about the lifestyle in your host country? Are there any local specificities you are still struggling with?

Thanks in advance,


Hi Priscilla

Thanks for such an amazing epistle about the local habit in mzansi.

Personally not as a group but individual I have experienced magnificent local habits here in south Africa and I tell that my life and experience has been always up to date just because of people whom I participate with day out day in,I know they might be some hiccups but hey that's yaa am having great time in south Africa and I can see my future in good shape and by the way thanks a lot for such splendid query you have just come or the right time and to the right person

Kindly regards


morning pricsilla

i have embraced some local customs.well as an african,south africa is a multiracial country with so many customs and each race having its own customs.the only problem in RSA is the insecure life environment etc.

Hi Priscilla,

I have been living in SA since 1980.  I still visit my birth place regularly, and looking back - I think that SA is a fabulous place to live.  Being married to a SA citizen I have adapted a lot of SA customs and think as myself as being more SA than European.

I still struggle with everything that has to do with government offices - a lot of frustrations when something goes wrong or when you need to renew a  licence, or were overcharged for electricity, or need an ID. 

I big adjustment was the chaos on the roads, and the mini taxi's - but saying that - this is Africa and makes it unique.

I still miss my country of birth regularly, but my live is here.  People are friendly and if you have to compare your day to day dealings at retail stores - they provide a far better service and friendliness.

I pretty much loved all the South African customs, from the slower pace of life to have time to linger over coffee with friends, to saying "howzit" and "shame".

Here are some posts about culture shock that go into more details on many of these customs:

And here a list of all the sayings that you'll likely embrace (and miss after you leave) when living in SA: … nisms.html

Enjoy South Africa!

I have definitely embraced the car wash culture, its not just washing your car, its actually a pastime activity, car gets washed, you have chesa nyama or a beer.

And i understand what now means, i am coming now can mean anything from 5 minutes to an hour!

'' Oh thats so nice, shame'' is something you will end up saying after being in South Africa for a while, shame actually means something good.

So true! I was just back in South Africa for the first time in 4 years, and found myself saying "shame" after about 30 minutes. Slotted right back in. And saying "now" and not actually feeling any rush is also a great South African thing. Makes you more relaxed immediately! I should try it more often here:-)

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