Ghana’s society seems quite cohesive because things are done as they have always been done. In one respect history has finished: the ancestors have already done, made, and said everything there is to be done, made and said. As a result of this, there is respect for elders as the repositories of knowledge gained through their years on earth and an acute sense of history. But there is another side to all this.

The knowledge of the elders – the transmission of cultural values, traditions and customs – is no longer the only form of knowledge. Ghana has been thrust into the modern economy and an urban environment has been planted onto it. The knowledge this type of society needs is technological and scientific knowledge obtainable mostly from learning and academia, not from grandparents.

So the placing of oneself into an historical context, the recognition of one’s lineage and knowing what you have to live up to, are all positive things which have now been destroyed in my culture. But, with the enforcement of the modern world on Ghana, people are wondering why things don’t seem to function the way they are supposed to.

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