Ten Insights into Ghanaian Culture: #1 – Ghanaian Hospitality
Ghanaians are well-known for their warmth, generosity, and vigorous welcome of family, friends, and strangers. Things may be changing in the big cities, what with worsening trust relations due to overcrowding, crime, and poverty and opportunistic behavior. But not fast enough to discourage the traditional open-door policy of welcoming visitors to homes at any hour of the day and plying callers with food and drink and warm smiles and hugs. Akwaaba means welcome in Fanti or Twi (2 quite similar languages spoken by the Akan people, and prevalent in the capital city, Accra). It is probably the very first word you will hear upon arriving at Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
In a country where visitors normally do not call ahead to announce their visit, Ghanaians are typically flexible in their schedules and prepared to answer a knock at the door with genuine delight, subsequently suspending all imminent plans and fully devoting their time and attention to their visitor. Never will you be asked what time you are leaving, and never should you refuse something to eat or drink––that would offend your host. If you are a travelling from outside Africa, do not be surprised if fancy imported food or drinks are ordered for you, on a special errand to the local store, to make you feel more at home.