Hat etiquette among Batswana men

When to don and when to doff the hat. That is the question

Like any other people, Batswana have their own etiquette and rules concerning dress for different occasions. The hat is no doubt one of the most loved accessories among Batswana men and it can be used to display one’s taste and class, among other things.

Hats are men’s favourite accessories at weddings, funerals and other important social events because they are not only used to make a fashion statement but shield one from the sun. Infact, in many communities, a grown man who never wears a hat is sometimes frowned upon. Traditionally, married men and men of higher social-standing may wear hats to show that they are important people in their communities.

Among older Batswana men, it is important for the wearer of the hat to observe certain etiquette as it may cause an offence if any of the rules are broken. In simple terms, when wearing a hat as a man, you must know when to take it off and when to put it back on.

In most communities of Batswana, when someone wearing a hat meets a man of high authority or an elder, he has to take off the hat in greeting, lest he is considered disrespectful and fit for censor. While some prefer to doff the hat temporarily and put it back on, others might take it off and only put it back on once they have left the presence of the elder.