According to the United Nations Mother Earth is currently home to 193 countries. Within these 193 countries there are different groups, tribes and communities, which all have and represent their own values. But what exactly are values?
Values are desirable or morally well considered characteristics or qualities, which are attributed to objects, ideas, practical or moral ideals, facts, patterns of action, character traits or goods.
But how exactly do values and moral concepts manifest themselves in reality? Among the values represented by fairafric are justice, friendliness, respect, honesty and solidarity. Many of these values also have a central significance in Ghana.
With the help of the World Value Survey we would like to share five important values of the Ghanaian society with you.
There is probably no society in which the family does not play an essential role, so it comes as no surprise that 96 % of the Ghanaian´s stated that the family comes first in their lives. This is partly due to the fact that in Ghanaian society the family is considered the cornerstone of social life. Older members of society act as role models for the younger generations. At the same time, the family serves as a financial security for the family members in old age.
The Ghanaian people are known for their friendliness and for being open-minded, even beyond the country’s borders. Children learn this from the moment they are born.
The friendliness of the Ghanaian´s also includes small talk. A sentence like “Let’s finally get down to business” is unthinkable and is considered to be extremely rude!
Besides small talk, Ghanaian society is characterized by an indirect style of communication – direct criticism is absolutely taboo and is considered very rude in Ghana. Instead of direct criticism, topics are by-passed, which from time to time leads to problems with serious issues and the discussions easily go round in circles.
Respect is very important in Ghana. This is evident as soon as you greet them: handshakes are a must and a sign of recognition among the male population. At events and celebrations it is considered respectful to greet each person individually and especially the greeting of the older generations is very important.
Furthermore, gesticulation with the left hand is not used in Ghana, as this is considered rude. The food is always eaten with the right hand.
In Ghana the collective culture dominates, which means that a person always acts on behalf of the collective or in this case the family. As a consequence, disrespectful behavior of one family member will affect the reputation of the whole family. Also and exactly for this reason social behaviour plays a decisive role in Ghana and one is careful not to “lose face”.
Religion is a very important part of the culture in Ghana, as there is hardly a person in Ghana who does not believe in God. One can even go one step further, because for more than 80% of the Ghanaian population God plays a decisive role in everyday life. So it is not unusual in the daily life of Ghanaian´s to pray up to several times a day. Getting up at three o’clock in the morning to practice your faith? In Ghana no unusual thing!
For the population, which consists of almost 70% Christians and 18% Muslims, faith is mainly about dealing with death and creating positive associations with death. Faith also includes the effort to do good. This is also reflected in the friendly nature of the Ghanaian´s.
To gain independence, the Ghanaian people had to fight hard, which connected the people in a very unique way. Solidarity is not only important within the family – even with brief acquaintances and even strangers, people share without hesitation and start a conversation.
In Ghana, it is not unusual to invite people who are passing by for a meal. It does not matter whether the person is a close friend or just an acquaintance. Even strangers are invited, as long as they do not decline the invitation (which is considered polite in Ghana).