Gandhi once said that "A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people". Since our last update, the Spring 2016 participants have been on a journey of discovering, understanding and appreciating the culture of the people of Ghana.
On February 20th, 2016, the students went on a tour of some parts Eastern Region of Ghana.
Tetteh Quarshie Cocoa Farm
The tour took them to the Tetteh Quarshie cocoa farm, where they learned about the history of how cocoa first came to Ghana. They also learned about the economic benefits of the cocoa pod and seeds to Ghana and also the health benefits provided.
Cocoa pods and beans
T.K. Bead-making Factory
Students in the bead-making process
They also partook in a bead making workshop. The workshop took them through the processes of making beads using recycled glass. The students also tried their hands on making and decorating their own beads.
March 11th, 2016 took the students on a three day tour of the the cultural hub of Ghana, the Ashanti Region.
Asisiriwa Building Project.
Students carrying water to construction site.
Brady Blackburn, a CIEE Ghana Spring 2012 student, is building a literary center in Asisiriwa in the Ashanti Region. The literacy center will provide a platform for young people to share their creative artistry with the people in the community.
As part of our semester Community Engagements and as part of the trip to Ashanti Region, the Spring 2016 students lend a helping hand by carrying water, building blocks and mortar. They also engaged the pupils of the Asisiriwa Methodist Primary School in a Music and Dance Workshop and soccer. They also made a donation of mosquito nets, clothes and shoes to the community.
To learn more about the Asisiriwa Literacy Center here.
Also on the trip, the students visited Bonwire kente village where they learned the history of the kente cloth and learn about how kente is woven and its various uses. They also visited the Ntonso Adinkra village where the learned about the names and meanings of the motifs and its significance to the Asante ethnic group. They also participated in the printing of adinkra symbols on a kente cloth.
Zoe Russell (Bucknell University) printing an adinkra symbol on a cloth
During the tour of the Ashanti Region, the Spring 2016 students got the opportunity to witness the 'Akwasidae' festival. The festival is celebrated every 40 days of the Asante calendar, honouring the King of the Asante Kingdom called Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, his chiefs and their ancestors. The last 'Akwasidae' coincides with the festival called the 'Adae Kese' festival that celebrates the achievement of the Asante Kingdom, it's King and the people.
Events on the Horizon:
The Students in future will be participating in events that will enrich their cultural learning. In our next newsletter, we will update you as they journey through their experience in Ghana.