Life in the extended family
Children in Ghana grow up in large families. Not only do father, mother and children live together, but usually also aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins. Quite a few people gather there to eat!
The grandparents’ sisters and brothers are seen as grandma and grandpa just like the actual grandparents. Actually, they would be great uncles and great aunts. Suddenly a child can have a lot of grandmas and grandpas. Does your grandma have a sister? Imagine she was your grandma too! It’s a strange idea for us.
Babies and toddlers are carried on the back as soon as the mother is out and about: when shopping or visiting friends, even at work, for example when the mother is a street vendor. Often the children are carried like this until they are three or even four years old. In the cities there are kindergartens that children attend, like here, until they start school at the age of six.
The oldest child or children in a family have a lot of responsibility. You have to make sure that the younger ones are safe. The big ones are served by the smaller ones. Children in Ghana have to become independent very early on. By the age of four, many children are already cooking for themselves, washing clothes or going shopping. Some girls have to take care of their little siblings and carry them on their backs in a shawl.
Soccer and Oware
Children in Ghana love to play oware. You need hollows for this, either on a game board or in the ground or simply on paper. Stones or beans can also serve as game pieces. So it can be played almost anywhere. Boys are also very fond of playing soccer.
Just as music and dance are important for adults, it is also important for children. They like to sing, clap or drum. Music that you always hear from bars as well as from the radio is highlife: a mixture of jazz with elements of traditional Ghanaian music.
Clothes and hairstyles
The clothes and hairstyles in Ghana are on the one hand quite western, on the other hand traditions are also cultivated. Some girls straighten their hair, others wear dreadlocks with pearls. Even little girls get pierced ears. Women especially like to wear dresses with patterns.
The individual ethnic groups wear their traditional robes, especially on certain occasions and celebrations. The Akan robes are made of brightly woven Kente fabrics. Men then wear the traditional robe, which is somewhat reminiscent of a Roman toga. A large piece of fabric is draped over the body so that one shoulder remains free.
Eating in Ghana
What do you eat in Ghana?
What do you eat in Ghana? Actually everything that exists in the country. The meat of cattle, sheep and chickens is eaten in the same way as game meat (bush meat). This also includes cane rats, which despite their name are not rats, but large rodents. To get more information on Ghana and Africa, check recipesinthebox.
What makes you feel full?
People like to eat fish and meat, but they are not cheap. Rice is more likely to be eaten to fill up, but also corn, millet, yams, cassava, taro, sweet potatoes and plantains. Noodles, bread or cheese are not eaten at all or only rarely. Vegetables include tomatoes, onions, eggplants, beans, avocados, okra and spinach.
Something warm for breakfast
Breakfast as we know it is not common in Ghana. Generally one prefers to eat warm meals. So there is an omelette or oatmeal or warm beans in the late morning, maybe also leftovers from the previous evening. In between, people like to eat fruit, especially tropical fruits: bananas, papayas, pineapples, mangoes, melons and oranges.
Because of the heat, everything is cooked fresh. Refrigerators are not a matter of course, especially in rural areas. That is why dairy products are rarely used. Everything is eaten spicy.
The children like Kelawele as a snack or as a side dish. These are slices of plantains that are baked in hot oil and spicy, for example with ginger, cayenne pepper or chilli. With our tips for participation from Ghana you can simply cook it yourself. Have lots of fun with it!
From a pot and with the right hand!
In Ghana, people usually eat from one pot. You sit around him and eat with your right hand. In Ghana, people prefer to eat Fufu. This is a porridge made from two parts of cassava (or yam) and one part of plantains. With the fingers of your right hand you form small balls, which are then dipped in a sauce and eaten. Spicy sauces are generally an important part of Ghanaian cuisine. The Ghanaians speak of them as “soups” (soups).
Jollof rice – also spicy!
Jollof rice is also eaten from a pot or from a large platter. This is rice cooked in a sauce. This sauce is first made from onions and tomato paste with other ingredients such as beans, carrots, cassava, sweet potatoes or fish, then the rice cooks in it. You eat very spicy. Shito, a spicy pepper sauce, is served with many dishes.
Banku is a doughball. It is made from corn and cassava flour. A porridge made of flour and water is mixed and left to stand for a few days so that it becomes sour. You can also add vinegar to make it quicker. Then the porridge is boiled and dumplings are formed from it. You eat them with soup or sauces. Kinkey is similar. The dumplings are cooked in a banana leaf.
Because you eat by hand, it is common practice to wash your hands in a bowl of water at the table just before eating. And – do you want to try it out at home?