Ghanaian Funerals

This weekend my town had three funerals, which are Ghanaian parties. You really do celebrate life here in Ghana. The house behind me, where another PCT is staying was having a funeral. Another PCT’s host grandma (110!!) was having a funeral and then another person in town. Friday you wear red and black and it is a day of wailing and celebrating. The ambulance takes the body from the morgue and brings it to the family home. The family then examines the body to make sure it is the correct person. Morbid, but would solve a lot of problems in America. Saturday is a big dance party and you wear black. Sunday is somber in the morning and the funeral is actually held that day. You wear white and black. Later in the afternoon, it is another party, where donations are solicited to help pay for the funeral. Big donations too, my host mom gave 200 GhC. My host mom also hosted and fed the brass band that came for the funeral. The leader of the band chatted with me before the funeral. So when I saw him at the actual funeral, he told me that once they started playing that I had to get up and dance. I needed to learn the traditional dance. I said no, no, but he kept suckering me in. About 20 mins later they start to play. My host mom drags me up to the middle to dance. Mind you, there are about 400 people, aka the entire town at this funeral. Everyone is staring at the white girl dancing. Hell I would too. So I shook my hips just slightly, I mean that’s what they are for right? I heard this scream and cheer. I look around and everyone is staring at me and clapping. So a little bit later I shook them somemore. MORE cheers. It was so funny. So when the song was over and we were going back to our seats, I shook my hips and bum a little bit, which means towards the majority of the crowd. Everyone was dying laughing and cheering. I got eye high fives from everyone. That was the moment that I felt that I belonged here. It was that very moment that I knew – I can do this. This is right. What I am doing is the right path. This is where I should be. It was a great feeling to instantly feel accepted by a community. Now when I see people on the street they mock dance to greet me. I love it.

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