Read Around the World July 2021 – Ghana
What did we learn on our read around the world this month and how did we choose to visit Ghana?
Fun facts about Ghana from this website:
- Culture and tradition of the Ghanaian people of West Africa are mixed especially due to the fact that the country boasts of several tribes that uphold their different cultural orientations as well as their varied ways of life. In as much as there is a multiplicity of different ethnic groups, the culture is overall unified and as such, Ghana has enjoyed political stability in the region even after the post-Colonial era.
- Traditionally, Ghana as a nation was divided into three different castes namely, royals, commoners, and slaves. Up to date, the traditional class stratification is still recognized although slavery is not prominent in today’s Ghana.
- Polygamy is legal and people do not have a problem with the polygamous families in so far as the breadwinner can sufficiently provide for the families.
- Traditional practices on widow inheritance are still prominently practiced in that a widow is expected to be married by a living brother of the late husband and as such assume full responsibility for the children left behind as well as his new wife.
- Generally, Ghanaian culture lays more emphasis on being hospitable to everyone in the society,practicing good manners in every setting as well as respect for everyone.
- Akan is the most popularly used language in Ghana after English spoken by nearly 67.1% of the inhabiting people.
- Ghana was the first country to gain independence in West Africafrom the British people.
- The country was named afterthe medieval empire of West Africa which initially was Wagadugu
- Ghana before 1957 was commonly known as the Gold Coastdue to the availability of gold along the rivers Ankobra and Volta.
- Ghana boasts of having the largest open-air market in West Africalocated in Kumasi where people go to buy clothes, fabric as well as garments.
I chose to visit Ghana via Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I believe this is a really important book for everyone to read covering 300 years of history in Ghana and America the reader follows the stories of the descendants of two sisters one sold into slavery and one married to an Englishman. Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of the next descendant in line from each sister as the reader is taken on a trip through history. The really sad thing in the narrative is that no matter how much things change they stay the same. I appreciated the way important moments in history are touched upon in a human way – we see Africans selling other Africans – slavery in Africa and America – passing – servitude – discrimination and finally hope. I also loved the magical realism aspects or perhaps that should be the ancestral spirituality aspects where certain members of the family tree are in touch with past generations and can feel and in some cases communicate with their ancestors to fully understand history and how they have arrived where they are.
There is no way this can be anything less than a 5 star read and as I said before everyone should read this to better understand the world we live in today.
Other readers chose to visit Ghana in the following ways:
Rockpools from Litsy – Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes this was a pick.
Simona from Litsy – Faceless by Amma Darko this was a so-so.
Did you join us on this trip? Let us know what you read.
For August we are off to Bolivia share your plans!
I read Wife of the Gods for this round but have read Homegoing and loved the book. Probably just going to read American Visa for Bolivia even though it doesn’t appear to be the book I would really want to read.