When I first came to Europe I visited a friend in a remote village - somewhere.
I was shocked by the manner the guy talked to his parents. They argued and spoke in a way that I would never dare communicate with my parents back in Africa. Months later the same friend told me he was borrowing money from his father. This stunned me. Borrow money? I wouldn’t “borrow” money from parents. There was one specific instance where he and the parents were arguing. He would use very direct language that made me cringe.
“Come on stop it, dad!” or “Mum you are such a liar!”
I was equally jolted by how his siblings treated us. Everyone gaped at me when I asked his young nieces and nephews to call me Uncle since I was older than them. Of course I was undergoing what is known as “cultural shock”- the stress of being in a different environment other than what you are used to – ultimate divide among societies.
The primary cultural shock was (for me) in Wazungu culture is a disregard of age difference, except for legal matters. Young people speak whichever way they wish to older people- the use of word “Uncle” and “Auntie” which is a kind of substitute to “Shikamoo” common in Swahili and African custom has a different connotation.