There is a bunch of words that you MUST learn as soon as you put your feet on the Tanzanian land and the most important of them is the word MZUNGU. It means ‘white European’, ‘white western’ in general.
It is absolutely not a derogatory term, it is just qualifying: we ARE white.
The MZUNGU is an exotic entity. Apart from tourists, volunteers and operators of the United Nations, there are only a few of them crossing the streets. They attract attention and create curiosity. I mean, we are observed 😀
Nothing to worry about:
Tanzanians are very friendly. After a while, they do not notice you any more (more or less) and you do the same.
Obviously, the art of surviving makes the MZUNGU a magnet for customers hunters, especially those from safari agencies (flycatchers in the sectorial language). If you are not interested, just a kind ASANTE is sufficient and the matter is easily covered.
ASANTE is the second keyword to memorize. It means ‘thank you’. Courtesy and good manners are essential and the Tanzanian etiquette is of some complexity, so let’s start from the basics.
If you want to exaggerate you can add SANA, ASANTE SANA, ‘thank you very much’, and you will conquer every Tanzanian heart.