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Friday, April 19, 2013

Drumming and Dancing at the Youth Home Culture Group

By Molly

The brand new batch of volunteers for the International Service Ghana team had the delight of spending the final night of an icebreaker-filled induction week indulging in some traditional Ghanaian food, music and dance.

The evening started with some of the local cuisine. Around the table we saw numerous plates of Jollof Rice (a new personal favourite of mine), Banku (fermented corn dough) and not forgetting a variety of different local meats including goat, guinea fowl and chicken. The meal would not have been complete without, of course, an obligatory 'lights out' (more commonly known as a 'blackout')... something we have adapted to very well upon arriving in Tamale. Various torches/other light bearing concoctions were put into place and the meal carried on as normal... (as you do).

Following on from this was something we had all been very excited about – our evening of watching and participating in some local drumming and dancing.

The whole team headed over to the Youth Home Cultural group which is situated in the centre of Tamale where, just like everywhere else we have been so far, the atmosphere and the people we had the pleasure of meeting was so warm, friendly and welcoming.

[caption id="attachment_480" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Drumming and Dancing The Youth Home Culture group[/caption]

We sat and soaked in the overwhelming cultural experience we were being given, learning about the traditions and stories behind each song and dance and seeing the spectrum of different colours each persons costume entailed. It was so liberating to see the passion and feel the energy behind each routine.

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And then ...it was time. Each and every member of the IS Ghana team took to the stage to learn a small dance routine from the group's leader. Let's just say that some of the team have been blessed with slightly more rhythm than others...

[caption id="attachment_518" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Shazia and Natalie of the Sandema team showing off their dancing skills Shazia and Natalie of the Sandema team showing off their dancing skills[/caption]

So, if this was our introduction to our time here in the northern region of Ghana, I think I can speak on behalf of the whole IS Ghana team when I say I am thoroughly looking forward to experiencing and learning about an incredibly traditional culture as well as being able to work closely with our project partners and to ultimately embrace every moment of the next 3 months of our Ghanaian journey. Dasiba Tamale!!