Mozambicans generally are also absent from work more than Canadians, usually because of higher rates of illness and because of family responsibilities.For example, missing work to attend a funeral is quite common.You could talk about the cost of things in the market or the weather, or you could talk about the traditional foods that you have eaten.
Men usually do not kiss men but they will kiss women and women will kiss each other as well. At a first meeting, your host or a colleague might introduce you to someone and say your name and their name or they might say their name. At a first meeting you would not ask someone about how they lived during the war years or if they lost any family members.
In addition, it would probably be better not to ask where the other comes from because there is some tension between the northern, southern and central regions of the country and the question may be mis-perceived.
Note, however, that Mozambicans will generally want to know where you come from, simply out of curiosity.
When speaking with someone, it is appropriate to keep an arm’s length distance, though Mozambicans generally have a smaller personal space than Canadians.
It is not necessarily important to maintain eye contact.
Men will shake hands or if they know each other well may hug each other and clap each other on the shoulders.
In terms of eye contact, you will notice that a “superior” e.g.
a boss at work, might look at an employee but the employee may look down out of respect.
The same thing usually happens between an older and younger person, or with a man talking to a woman (the woman keeps her gaze down).
It is definitely not a good idea to talk about politics during a first encounter either as there is still a lot of polarization along Frelimo and Renamo lines.
People would also wonder what motive you had in raising the subject.