One of the most well known facts about the diversity of the people in Cameroon can be easily observed in their differences in how comfortable they are with physical and verbal contact, and gestures.The level of comfort naturally varies with the region in which they live and, to a lesser extent, their religion or ethnicity.Both men and women rest their hands on each other’s knees/legs when sitting and sometimes hold hands when walking.During conversations regular hand shaking and backslapping can take place.It is best to avoid political discussion early on in a relationship.The countrie’s political past is marred with stories of repression against political dissent.
This is particularly evident when negotiating a price for something people can appear to be arguing fiercely, but in reality this a bargaining tactic.
It is best to observe things and go about things gradually, especially if you do not yet fit in.
Other than showing someone your extended middle finger (a gesture that would provoke anyone in the world), Cameroonians simply play around a lot with gestures and use them more to communicate or get the attention of the people they are speaking with.
The same goes for the debate on equality between the sexes, still a controversial subject likely to provoke heated debates.
For all these reasons, it is best to be very subtle and use a lot of tact if you wish to broach these subjects with a Cameroonian.