Instilling cultural values in our children
Culture is distinct, and its observation is what preserves the identity of any group of people in any country.
Cultural elements include language, food, shelter, ways of dressing, and the way we speak and behave, among others. It is important for parents to encourage their children to speak the language of the family into which they are born.
Many parents, sad to say, would rather encourage their children to speak foreign languages at home, especially English in Ghana. There is nothing wrong with speaking English at home, but we must note that, coming from a certain background, we should rather prefer to speak our local language at home.
Ghana is a multilingual country, with more than 80 languages spoken by various ethnic groups. Our local languages identify us as a group of people who are different from non-Ghanaians.
Thus, we should be proud of our ability to speak different Ghanaian languages such as Akan, Ewe, Dagbani, Ga, Dangme, Dagaare, Kasem, Nzema, Gonja, Gurune, Konkomba, Wala and Nkonya. These and other languages are Ghanaian and must, therefore, be spoken without shame.
We should not think that speaking English is superior to our Ghanaian languages; we need to be proud of our local languages. Again, we must not just learn how to speak languages but also educate ourselves on how to write them.
It is the reading and writing of these languages that will make us different from other peoples in and outside Africa. This issue is important and must not be taken lightly.
In addition, we must be proud of our food. Some delicious Ghanaian foods are banku or etsew, fufu, akple, mpotompoto, konkonte, and tuo zaafi. Other dishes are gobe or yor ke gari, waakye, fomfom, ampesi and apaperansa, among others.
The way we dress as Ghanaians is also important. We need to cover our bodies well, not exposing any part, such as the breast, or wearing ear rings when we are men. Ear rings are meant for women.
Our cultural dances must be learnt well, too. Dances such as adowa, kete, apatampa, kpanlogo, borborbor, abgadza, bamaya and klama, among others, must be encouraged among our children.
Moreover, cultural or traditional greetings must also be encouraged. These are the things we need to encourage to bring discipline to our society.
It is the absence of these cultural values that has resulted in indiscipline in our society today. Foreign culture is good, but we need to promote our own values to show the world that we have our own identity as a people.
Our cultural values are important, so we must all make conscious effort to instill them in all aspects of our behaviour so that our children or young people can live decently.