Educating kids and others about Ghanaian culture
• GUF hosts events to promote
Ghanaian culture abroad
In my children write-up, I promised to bring to readers at points in time some of the positive things that the Ghanaian immigrants are accomplishing or trying to accomplish in Finland.
There are a lot of engagements among the Ghanaian immigrants in Finland, within the Ghana Union Finland as the representative association as well as by individuals.
As I keep pointing out, Finland encourages migrants’ participation in the planning of issues concerning the migrants themselves as one of the efficient ways to improve their inclusion.
There are many positive things that are happening within the Ghanaian immigrant community in Finland. Great efforts are being made by certain groups or associations as well as individuals, which need to be highlighted.
Promoting Ghanaian traditions
The Ghanaian diaspora in Finland has been growing fast and many associations such as the Asanteman Kuo, Brong Ahafo Association, GaDangme, Mfantseman Kuw, as well as those of Eastern Region and Nzema groups have been formed.
The Ghana Union Finland (GUF) is an umbrella organisation representing the whole Ghanaian immigrant community. The Union and other organisations have been engaging in social activities and promoting the Ghanaian values and cultural heritage.
These are demonstrated during funeral where people mostly wear Ghanaian-style funeral clothes made with fabrics from Ghana.
The cooking and serving of “Ghanaian food” is encouraged at events organised by Ghanaian groups and individuals.
Also, at such events Ghanaian and other African drumming, songs and dancing are on display and even Finns get in the mood. The drums and other Ghanaian instruments attract many people to the scene.
On Ghanaian languages
Finnish agencies and other institutions encourage integration for migrants residing in the society. Such institutions are ready to support immigrant groups to teach their children especially those born in Finland about the language and other traditions of the countries of origin.
I remember that some years back, there were efforts by some individuals within the Ghanaian community to start classes for children to learn at least one Ghanaian language such as Akan/Twi. Unfortunately, I think it could not be sustained because the number of immigrant children was not high enough.
All the same, educating the children in the local languages of Ghana is still on the minds of many people in the Ghanaian community. Fact is, many people seem to worry that some Diaspora women who even had little basic education try to speak in English to their children.
The children born in Finland speak the Finnish language fluently. But many people worry that many such children are unable to respond well to Twi, Ga, etc., although they may understand it. Thus, the fear of some parents and the older generation is that their children may lose their roots completely.
There are many personalities and institutions that have contributed to or ensured the smooth running of things for Ghanaian immigrants in Finland.
Many of them have used their knowledge and abilities to encourage and help improve the lives of members of the Ghanaian immigrant community in Finland.
Many have acquired huge expertise and resources (academically, economically, technically, technologically, etc.) and try to give something back to society through imparting that to others or supporting them in other means.
This also helps to integrate immigrants into the host society. In my next write-up, I will hopefully bring to readers the efforts of a group or an individual within the Ghanaian community. Thank you!
By Perpetual Crentsil