Be prepared to shake hands every time you meet a Zambian.Many Canadians are not used to shaking hands every morning when they greet their colleagues, but it is a sign of good will and camaraderie.They will generally hug and pat each other on the back.Women tend to hug and show excitement more than males.When there are public displays of affection between couples, it is usually in bars or nightclubs.Zambian men quite often hold hands in public places to show that they are good friends or "brothers" (which is a term used not only for biological brothers, but cousins and friends as well). It is very faux pas to display anger or sadness in public.Other religions are acceptable; what is important is that you believe in some form of God.
Men greet each other with a special handshake, but this is not usually done between women.
In a country surrounded by nations that have experienced or are experiencing conflict (i.e.
Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique), most Zambians take pride in being the country that keeps its cool and is very easy-going and peaceful. They can decide to take a day off to attend to a matter involving an extended family member. Both men and women like to look sharp, although men can get away with being a little more casually dressed.
Being calm and "easy" (not stressful or forceful) is the most important thing when communicating; it is only acceptable to get excited in a positive way (i.e. One’s tone of voice should be "easy" and not stern or harsh—it is quickly noticed if you use a sharp tone or speak with a bit of edge. Showing affection, eg: kissing or hugging in public is not common and would be considered sexually explicit. You wait and you get home then you can express emotions to your spouse or best friend over a glass of beer. This does not mean lack of confidence, rather, it a sign of respect and politeness. It is not common to see much public display of affection at all.
Such affections are considered intimate and are reserved for the confines of the home. You avoid being confrontational and speak through a third party if there is something you are not happy about. During the day, maybe at most holding hands, but very rarely; often it is difficult to determine if a male and female seen together are a couple or just friends.