Thursday, 11 August 2011

All in the Family

Hey my peoples!

Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. but it’s definitely crunch time in my placement. I’ve been wanting to write this post for over a week now. But I digress…

A couple weeks ago when interviews were being conducted at the college for this new top-up program that is going to run over the weekends, there were a tonne of people around the administrative block on campus. One of the applicants was a woman with a toddler, who naturally I befriended right away. On this particular day, I was going to a nearby farm owned by an AWESOME entrepreneur who had graduated from the college 30 years ago, and this little tyke joined me and the driver for the ride. When I returned, walking back towards the office holding this little guy’s hand, one of the lecturer’s exclaimed, “Is that your son?” I shook my head, with some sort of awkward shocked look on my face and said no.

He then went on to explain to me that he meant adoptive son, for in Ghana they really don’t distinguish those types of things. For example, anyone who you meet who comes from the same hometown, or even region as you is automatically your brother. Your aunt can even be your sister, and any women somewhat older then you can be your “antie”.

This got me thinking: why do we find such a need to distinguish who we are in Canada? I mean, I remember once I actually described a relative as my second cousin once removed. What does that even MEAN? Does it matter? Couldn’t I have just said cousin?

It reminded me again of my Italian roots… how you call someone from your town your paisan. If you meet a paisan, you’re automatically friends.

I think this notion of everyone being a family member, or at least termed as such, is a great description of the sense of community here in Ghana. Everybody is friends. So maybe, if we start calling everyone our sisters and brothers, we can get a better sense of community where we live to. To quote Fight Club, “…let that which doesn’t matter, truly slide”. At the end of the day, we’re all part of the homo sapien family right?

Later days brothers and sisters!

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