Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day Three - 5 things I love about Ghanaians

1) They laugh. Lots. On the whole Australians can take themselves way too seriously. When was the last time you saw someone let out a great big deep belly laugh? Ghanaians laugh like it's a gift. Pure and rich and simple. If wealth was measured in laughter I imagine Ghana would come up as one of the richest countries in the world.

2) They are not unattractive to the eye. I'm sure they are out there but I have yet to come across an ugly Ghanaian, and some of them are just jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I think this might also have something to do with the above.

3) They are SO polite. Call me old-fashioned but I LOVE manners. This Ghanaian attribute has obviously influenced the students at the international school here where I am running workshops because just about every student I pass offers me a friendly greeting or a smile. Anyone who has wandered through the corridors of an Australian high school recently will get why this is something I find so impressive.

4)They can carry things on their heads. Along with the baby wrapping I wrote about in an earlier post, carrying a full load of groceries on your head is utterly impressive to me. I had a little practice in the privacy of my room with a single text book and couldn't even keep it up there for three minutes let alone try to cross the floor. This also means Ghanaians have beautiful postures. See note 2.

5) They don't raise their voices. Ghanaians regard someone who loses his temper and shouts as childish and so doesn't deserve to be taken seriously. Anger in Ghana is show in three ways. Here they are in order of gravity.
A little bit angry: 'Ooh! Ooh!' This is a warning that you've displeased them.
Very angry. 'Tsk! Tsk!' A gentle clicking of the tongue
Absolutely furious: Slapping your hand into your palm. Not even slapping someone else but slapping your own palm.

I know I risk sounding like my own grandmother but all the same I will come right out and say: What is there not to love about a straight back, level temper and nice manners? Does it for me every time.


  1. Great observations so far about Ghanaians I must say, and I'd like to add that you've been totally phenomenal in the way you'd handled the sessions with our students. I have this strong feeling the inspiration you've brought to our community would certainly yield at least one great writer (like yourself) in the future. Our students love you, I (a teacher) think you simply rock and thank you so much for visiting.

  2. Thanks PapJeff! I wish I knew who you were so I could thank you in person. I've loved my stay here and would come back again at the drop of a hat.

  3. Here's a photo to help you remember:

  4. Ah yes - of course! How could I forget a beautiful face like that? Just got back to Melbourne this morning and I'm feeling exhausted but so happy that I was able to discover such a wonderful country. I would love to go back there with my family one day.