Swahili in Tanzania

Children and Adults

A group of seven young children standing outside of a building

Most Tanzanian children follow a very formal set of rules of behavior. They are always careful to give the "Shikamoo" greeting to their elders. When in the presence of adults, they are quiet until addressed and if, for example, they are presented with a gift, they might not open it or be overly enthusiastic until after the visitor leaves. They are used to responding to adult requests, whether or not they know the adult. An adult shopping in the market might need a bag and request any child to go get one for him/her and the child would do so. Parents or adults may call a child into the house from play to request a glass of water, and the child would quietly get the water. Adults frequently send children to run household errands at the market, the pharmacy or the beverage store. If a neighbor sees a child carrying a bucket and going for milk, that person might easily tell the child to get his/her milk too.


  • "Children and Adults"
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