During my time in Accra, I have watched for cultural differences between the U.S and Ghana. It’s something I can’t help as I make my way up and down the streets of Accra, reflecting on what is and isn’t different from my reality at home. I think it is important to note the word “difference” does not connote anything negative. “Differences” between cultures doesn’t mean one culture is better than the other; every one has its virtues, as well as its vices. I know now that travel and an integrated experience of another culture is the best way to make those distinctions for oneself.
Spending six weeks in Ghana and living within its cultural hub, I have concluded in my time here that the U.S could learn a thing or two about the Ghanaian way of life.
First, Ghanaians are an exuberant people. They are expressive, lively, outgoing, and always looking to chitchat. I have talked to more friendly ‘strangers’ on trotros, when trekking to work, or just out in the city than my entire life in the US. Almost every time each person who came to chat did so just for the sake of a good conversation. This experience is something I wish I could take back with me.
Another fundamental part of Ghanaian culture is the food. Yes, the U.S does have larger range of cuisines, but Ghana has won me over with their flavor and spice. I know when I go home I am going to miss their fiery foods.
Lastly, what I will miss more than anything are all the colors. Everything in Ghana is so vibrant, from the buildings, to the clothes, to the art. Here in Ghana, people aren’t afraid to be expressive in every sense of the word. I will miss that more than anything when it is time to head home.