The first times I visited Ghana I learned to eat all kind of Ghanaian food. During the voluntary projects we cooked ourselves on the Ghanaian way. Also I visited friends and could have a look in their kitchen and try their food. I saw and learned how to pound the food and how to cook with firewood and with charcoal.
In Ghana I tasted yam, cassave and plantain for the first time. Mostly we prepared our meals with what was available. During one of the dry season, when the rains stayed away very long, our main food was maize, brought by an aunt, being a market woman who had to feed the whole family at that time. I never have eaten maize in so many different ways. When we travelled in another less dry region we suddenly saw lots of yams at a local market. The bus on its way back to Accra stopped and everybody in the bus bought as many yams as possible. So the bus got a second floor of yams in a few moments. In the rainy season we could bring lots of fresh vegetables from the garden or from the market.
My favourite Ghanaian food is fufu, being pounded cassave with plantain tilll it looks and feels almost like chewinggum. It is been eaten by the right hand after dipping your hand in the soup. Otherwise the stuff will stick at your fingers. Mostly we had palmnut soup, but my favourite is the groundnut soup. This one I make also at home at the European way with peanut butter and tomato sauce.
Village life in the compound
When I visited Accra, I liked it to stay in Madina just outside Accra, not far from Legon University. From the main road where the lorries stopped there were some small paths between the houses to reach the house and the compound of my friend. At some places you had to jump over narrow open sewers. At sunday almost every tenth house along this route seemed to be a church with cheerful singing and dancing people.
The life in the compound was mostly easygoing, if you didn't need to fetch water or find firewood or charcoal. The older kids were looking after the younger kids. The girls were bearing their little brother or sister wrapped at their back.
In this country the peoples live the dead in a differnt way from from Europe : who has the sufficient money asks the carpenter to construct one coffin that must have a shape that remembers the job of the defunct one.
In fact If u are a pilot you will have an airplane, but if u are a bartender you have a coffin shaped like a bottle
Ghanaians are very welcoming...
Ghanaians are very welcoming and friendly.
The Ga's are the original in habitant of Accra and they are very friendly people.
From April to July there is a ban on drumming and
noise making.This ban is lefted after the Homowo festival in August.Homowo is the festival of the Ga people.
So potenttial travelers should take note when travelling at this time to Accra.
The Ashanti tribe of the Akan...
The Ashanti tribe of the Akan are the largest tribe in Ghana and one of the few matrilineal societies in West Africa. Once renown for the splendour and wealth of their rulers, they are most famous today for their craft work, particularly their hand-carved stools and fertility dolls and their colourful kente cloth. Kente cloth is woven in bright, narrow strips with complex patterns; it's usually made from cotton and is always woven outdoors, exclusively by men. The Ewé also weave kente cloth, and their more geometrical patterns contain symbolic designs handed down through the ages. Kente cloth is only worn in the southern half of the country and - as distinct from other forms of traditional weaving - is reserved mainly for joyous occasions.
Unlike virtually all other West Africans, Ghanaians do not use masks, although this is not to say they don't believe in supernatural powers and the fetishes used to invoke them. Rather, in Ghana this is most often accomplished using wooden or clay statuettes, often placed on altars in fetish houses. Fetish dolls in particular are treated like magical items, and women who want to ensure themselves beautiful, healthy children can be seen carrying the dolls around on their backs, with only the dolls' flat, fat heads protruding from their slings. In all sculpture, gender is very important, and body parts - especially the head, buttocks, breast and navel - are exaggerated in size.
Ghana has the highest percentage of Christians in West Africa, but the belief in traditional animist religions is still extremely common. Though each ethnic group has its own set of beliefs, there are some common threads. Though they all accept the existence of a Supreme Being (as well as reincarnation), the Creator is considered to be too exalted to be concerned with the affairs of humans. There are a host of lesser deities whose moods can be swayed through sacrifices, and ancestors are often deified as well. There are no great temples or written scriptures; beliefs and traditions are handed down through word of mouth. The Ewé, for example, have over 600 deities to turn to in times of need. Many village celebrations and ceremonies take place in honour of one or more deities.
Soups, which are more like sauces, are the mainstay of Ghanaian cuisine. They're usually fairly thick broths and are eaten with a starch. Popular stews include groundnut, garden egg, fish, bean leaf and forowe, a fishy brew with tomatoes. Other main courses are jollof rice, a paella-like dish with meat; kyemgbuma, crabs with cassava dough, meat and potatoes; and gari foto, eggs, onions, dried shrimp and tomatoes accompanied by gari (course manioc flour). Another ubiquitous staple is fufu, which consists of cassava, yam, plantain or manioc that has been cooked, pureed and mashed into a ball. Kelewele, a spicy dessert of fried plantains seasoned with chilli pepper and ginger, is a popular street-stall item, as is askenkee, a cool, white, nonalcoholic beverage made of corn. Pito (millet beer) is the booze of choice in the north, while palm wine is more popular in the south.
Learn the handshake and the...
Learn the handshake and the click.
Learn some basic Twi ('et-e-sen' means how are you, 'ochina' means see you tomorrow).
When people help you, and you like them, tip them the equivalent of about 25/50p.
Don't be too rude when bargaining people down - I see westerners doing it all the time and I just want to go and break their legs. Have the same respect you would for anyone else, just tell them they must be joking when they give you a price - and do it with a smile on your face!!
Some people try to bargain goods that have a fixed price - like beer, most food, etc. Don't, it makes you look stupid.
Understand that there are different classes of people in Ghana, with different attitudes and different ways. Some have lived in Europe/USA before etc.