Aceh people is absolutely friendly and welcome to foreigner, visitor in particular. Its culture and religion value is extremely strong and tolerant to new-comer, including lifestyle. Nevertheless, please anticipate behaving friendly to avoid negative impact.
This is several tips, how to friendly and show your attitude with local people in Aceh.
Non Verbal Communications
- Placement of the hands on the waist is a sign of anger or arrogance.
- When passing through the crowd, raise your right hand with the palm open. If you Moslem say Salamualaikum, if non-Muslims just say Hello.
- Right hand finger is used to point to something and with open palms used as a hint to someone.
- Feet and shoes might dirty, disrespectful if crossed and facing toward the other person.
- Do not point to something with legs because it is not polite.
- Do not throw anything to others, giving out directly by hand, although you will have to move for a while.
- In everyday life, man chatting with a man and woman chatting with her.
- Affectionate touch between men and women is not done in public, example hug and lip kissing.
Be a guesting Code
- When visiting the Acehnese people, do not forget to leave your shoes outside.
- Acehnese people always serve drinks to guests.
- Beverages are often served coffee and tea.
- It is polite to wait until say “please” by the host.
- Guests usually will be asked, “whether they’ve eaten” polite answer is yes (already).
- However, if the food is directly provided, it is not polite if we reject it.
- When about to leave say “thank you” to the host’s wife because he had spent all his time in the kitchen.
- Do not visit the Acehness people at prayer time.
- If there is an unmarried woman in the house, it should not come into the house.
- When giving and receiving something always with the right hand, but should be taken with the left hand when the right hand is problematic.
- Use only your right hand to eat, if you are left-handed, apologized to the host, and say that you are left-handed.
- When eaten with the hands, wash your hands in a bowl of water specifically used for hand washing.
- After eating, wait until everyone is finished eating before you wash your hands, or at least wait for the elder people wash their hands first.
- If you are using spoon and fork, spoon and fork put back in the state of your stomach as a sign you already feel full.
- Leave a little water in the glass as a sign that you do not want to add to it.
Polite Dress Code
- Acehnese people are very stressed modesty in dress.
- Acehnese women generally wear clothing with a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
- Acehnese men while wearing clothing that is generally assessed polite by not showing genitalia (aurat).
- Avoid wearing shorts in public places for both women and men, except in places or private areas.
- Style of dress that is open and does not close the genitals as much as possible be avoided.
- Swimwear, such as the western culture deemed inappropriate.
- If you go to the village and the surrounding areas have to be polite.
- Wear shorts when swimming, women are also better t-shirt to wear.
- When you need to ask for assistance to the community.
- While in Aceh, tourists will be treated in accordance with the dress dress your wear. If you wear immodest clothing, do not be surprised if you see some people cynical and suspicious.
- In rural areas it is recommended not to wear shorts and mini t-shirts.
- Women better not to wear shorts and a sleeveless shirt (you can see t-shirt).