Last week we read the first half of Martha Ampadu’s post about International Education Week and this week she completes it with some of what she learned from her colleagues from Colombia, Turkey, and Indonesia and what she shared about her home country of Ghana.
From our friends from Indonesia, it was a shock when through their presentation, we learnt that, there are approximately 17,000 islands in Indonesia and due to that there are many cultures in Indonesia. Due to the cultural differences, even though there is a president, there are some islands that are being governed by kings.
Our friend from Colombia also did a great presentation, but the most common question he encountered was,”are you an African?”, but his outfit, which was made of the Colombian national colors, spoke for itself. This brought up the slave trade of about 100 years ago, which was a trade of humans from the African continent to the western countries. He explained his culture, which was a typical one of the coastal people in Colombia.
Our friend from Turkey also explained their culture pretty well, and also they had depictions of yummy foods, such as corn and different ways one can make it taste good, they also had different types of coffee such as apple coffee, Turkish coffee and many other coffee, this country I will say is the king of coffees.
Then I also presented my culture to the audience, and I am proud to say among my audience was my inspirational construction professor, Dolores Kelly Adams. With my presentation I presented the two major cultures in Ghana West Africa, which was the northern and southern culture. On this day I wore my traditional or cultural outfit which is called “Kente”, this dress is the cultural outfit of the southerners in Ghana. This cloth is hand woven, and the history behind this culture is that during the late centuries when the Ashanti empire existed, a hunter was going off to hunt when something which was being done by a spider captured his attention. According to history this spider was weaving a web, and this was not an ordinary spider but the very large size one whose web can even capture a human being. He went into a hide pout and continued watching. But since my people at that time were illiterate and did not know how to write, he recorded the steps of how the spider weaved its web through the rhythm the weaving of the spider was creating. So after he got back home, he started weaving with colorful cotton tread by singing the the rhythm of the spider’s weaving, the rhythm was:
Kro, kro, kro, Kro hie
Kro hien kro
Na y3 me daw ooo
So according to history the hunter finally weaved this cloth by singing this song.
The northerners in Ghana also have a traditional cloth which is called Fugu. This cloth is also woven but not the same way as the Kente cloth. On my board were pictures of some young ladies undergoing puberty rites. It was quiet amazing that this pictures were the ones that drew most people to my table and the question they mostly asked was why these young ladies are partially nude.
And my answer was, in my culture after a lady’s first menstruation they undergo the puberty rite where they are basically dressed up in beads. During this right the young females swallow boiled eggs and are asked not to bite into them since that represent their ovaries and if they bite into them, they can’t give birth.
In a nut shell, the international week was educative and informative, but we would not have sailed through without the help of our English professor Christina Lynn Cox and our advisor, Bebhinn Horrigan. To you all we say a very big thank you.
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.