Saying sorry

Sorry seems to be the hardest word, or so the phrase goes.  But not, it seems, for Ugandans…

When I was at university in Germany, one of the reasons people could sometimes tell I was from abroad was that I would say please and thank you when Germans simply would not.  That’s not to say they’re rude, it’s just a cultural difference.  One such difference in Uganda is the overuse of the word sorry, a term we in the UK tend to use when we are at fault for something or other.  In Uganda, you could be bitten by a mosquito and the nearest person will say sorry.  You could trip over in the street and passers-by will say sorry.  A Ugandan friend dropped something across the room from me and feigned annoyance because I hadn’t apologised…

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