View Full Version : What Exactly Is The Ghanaian Culture?

18th July 2011, 11:11 AM
Indeed, we Ghanaians should count ourselves blessed. We have been given a country like no other. A country of substance and peace! There’s gold to our left, black gold to our right. The only thing missing is common sense!

Our soil is perfect for farming. Our farmers would bear witness without hesitation! Yes, Ghana’s dark-brown earth is rich and fertile. She gives birth to all sorts of exotic plants, trees and vegetables. Sometimes, they grow unattended to by men. The rains have never left our earth betrayed. No, not to my knowledge! They fall in abundance when the season is due. They fall to quench our dark-brown earth of her thirst.


The love and care! Isn’t it worth the blush? Ghana is no ordinary country! No, on the contrary. But then, she has never been. The country is a palace in disguise! Its people are of royal blood. They’re princes and princesses. I call them orphans of wealth! Though, they seem to be ignorant of their worth. Hence, the ghost of poverty at roam in their midst. Hence, the life of despair, which has become the fate of many Ghanaians. May they live to find hope and deliverance in the arms of beauty!

Truly, I consider myself a proud Ghanaian. I was raised by a people of pride and culture. Oops! Did I say culture? Interestingly, I did. For the past two weeks or so, a fierce discussion has been going on in my private abode. What is it ‘bout? Culture! Some of my friends are of view that the word culture is undefinable. Thus, non-existent. Others say that culture is a word misunderstood and misused. Perhaps, it is! So, what exactly is culture? And, what does it mean? In Latin, the word culture means to cultivate.

Cultivate means to develop, to improve, to make better. Does the word culture attain its true meaning in its human application? Let’s see! If the Latin meaning of culture is anything to go by, then it should be! However, this hasn’t been the case. In fact, when it comes to the Latin definition of the word culture, agriculture and horticulture is what comes to mind. Understandably, these are the areas where the word cultivate could be applied and do make sense. Whereas plants, lands and animals could be cultivated--humans, on the other hand, cannot!

Throughout the years, the word culture has come to mean all sorts of things. One example is the word civilize, which also means to educate or refine. This word has come to mean culture! So, when the British asserted that Africans were uncivilized, what they meant to say was that we Africans were uncultured, uneducated or refined. What an insult! Of course, this assertion of theirs is open to discussion. Is it worth debating? Possibly! I, for one, believe that we Africans were well cultured, educated and refined.

No, we weren’t educated in their ways. No doubt! By no means does it mean that we weren’t educated in our own. We need to be very clear on this! Remember, the presence of ignorance doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of knowledge. I am sure the British came to find a people who had their own tribes, customs, languages, traditions and beliefs. People with cultures of their own, to be more exact! I would like to emphasize on the word cultures. It’s very important!

Quite often, I hear Ghanaians say things like this or that isn’t part of our culture. Meaning, the Ghanaian culture. But, what exactly is the Ghanaian culture? And, does it really exist? According to the ethnologue, over 79 different languages are spoken in our country. Ghana, as you all know, is an ethnically diverse country! You have the Ashanti, Fante, Akyem, Kwahu, Ga, Ewe, Mamprusi and Dagomba, among others. All these various ethnic groups have their own cuisines, customs, beliefs and traditions!

Also, noticeably, names tend to differ within these ethnic groups. In short, Ghana’s diverse ethnic groups have their own culture. Cultures which are easily recognized for their uniqueness. What might be permissible in one culture might not be permissible in the other! So, with this in mind, can we talk about a Ghanaian culture? And, what exactly is it? Let’s be specific!

PS: I know what I said about the last article being my last. Blame the pen! It led me to a familiar territory where I had no intention of going.

Source: The Emperor