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The most common Swahili greeting is Hujambo?, which means “How are you?” or “Are you well?”. Hamjambo? is used when greeting more than one person, and is usually followed by a handshake. A common response to Hujambo? is Sijambo (“I am fine”). Hatujambo means “We are fine”.
This exchange is followed by questions about the home, family, work, or other activities. For example, a Tanzanian might ask Habari za nyumbani? (“How are things at your home?”). A common response is Salama (“In peace, without problems”). Each geographic region has a variety of non-Swahili greetings particular to the local ethnic groups, but Swahili is understood by the vast majority of Tanzanians. Men and women shake hands with each other, although a man may wait for a woman to extend her hand before offering his. It is customary to bring a small gift such as sweets or biscuits—but not flowers—when visiting a home for the first time.
Friends and family visit often, and even unexpected visitors are welcomed enthusiastically and made as comfortable as possible. In general, visits after 8 PM are avoided.
Visiting and socializing with friends and family are the most common recreational activities. Football, track and field, and boxing are the most popular sports. Tanzania has produced a number of world-class runners. For tourists, the game parks offer opportunities for wildlife safaris, and the coast offers opportunities for water sports.