Thursday, December 09, 2010

Things that make Ghanaians, Ghanaians

I thought THIS list was really good--written by a Ghanaian who should know better than I some of the positive attributes of his countrymen!

The original author suggests that we add to the lists. What wonderful aspects do you see in Ghanaian culture?

1. A Ghanaian will very rarely tell you no if you ask a favor. If there is any way possible for him to do a favor for you, he will. This was explained to me very well by a friend, who brought up the point that it is really like a banking account. Today, he does a favor for you. But then tomorrow, when he needs a favor from you, you are expected to give it. The size of the favor doesn't matter.

2. Ghanaians know how to live in the moment! See a basket of mangoes that look particularly good? Best to buy them now, because who knows when you'll see such a nice basket for a good price again! This was best illustrated to me on the bus going to Bolga. There was a road full of mango sellers--big baskets for 1 cedi! Folks in the bus were going crazy buying these mangoes. My American self though, "I don't want to hold a basket of mangoes in the bus. I'll buy some later if I want them." NOT! That was pretty much the last place to buy mangoes, and most definitely the cheapest price! Once in Bolga fruit was very precious and much harder to find! So, in Ghana, my friends teach me to live in the moment!

3.If your car breaks down there will be someone to help you within a few moments. Probably 10 or 12 someones. They will help you roll the car to wherever it needs to go, for as long as it takes. Much advice will be given. At the end, they will only hope that you will buy them at least some pure water (but a soda would be even better)!

4. Ghanaians live out their Christianity in a way that makes me feel like a totally wimpy Christian. Holidays that are secular here, are religious there. Take New Year's. The tradition there is to do (at least) 24 hour worship at the church--while fasting! Christmas--yeah, it's actually about Christ and church. Christmas is about worshiping our Christ. No gifts. Gifts are saved for the day after Christmas, Boxing Day. Very cool.

5. Ghanaian moms rock. Ever wonder why we don't see a ton of very attachment-challenged children being adopted from Ghana? I firmly believe it has something to do with the fact that babies are carried almost constantly for at least the first year of their lives. Imagine all of that wonderful skin to skin bonding time! Maybe it's not as "stimulating" as our bright toys and happy sounds, but it is good for the soul. There is something very inspiring to me about the dedication of these moms to carry their loves with them constantly, while here in America babies are often left (out of necessity, in our culture) in a daycare sitting from 6-12 weeks forward.

6. Ghanaians are hard workers. Do you ever wonder why there are so few beggars in Ghana? It's because everybody who CAN work in some way IS working in some way. They will find SOMETHING to sell! I so admire this about Ghanaians, as in so many other countries people will beg much more quickly.
7. Ghanaians know how to relax. They are hard workers, but know how to lay down and simply BE sometimes. They don't need to be nursed with outside stimulation (music, TV, etc.). They can lay back on a bench, put their arm under their head, close their eyes, and just BE. This comes in very handy because...
8. Ghanaians are amazing waiters. The culture demands that one "take it slow." Everything takes time. Wait 4 hours for a bus to take off? No problem. An embassy appointment that takes all day? That's just how it is. There are those in American culture that would go absolutely batty at the laid back nature of Ghanaian society. Personally, I think it's wonderful (after I have a few weeks to let go of my American-brain)!

What would you add to the list? How do Ghanaians inspire you?


Venegas Family 3:03 PM  

Great Post!

I would have to add that they really "give" you their friendship. It feels like they completely give themselves to you heart and soul. I feel this in their hugs and see it in their smiles. They hug like there's no tomorrow!! Love it!!!!