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Authors: Lentz, Carola
Budniok, Jan
Title: Ghana@50 – celebrating the nation : an eyewitness account from Accra
Online publication date: 7-Mar-2008
Language: english
Abstract: This article offers an account of the 50th Ghanaian independence-day celebrations during March 2007. The multi-perspective approach examines how celebrations were experienced in the Ghanaian capital Accra by the political elite and the grass roots at a variety of official and unofficial events that took place on 5 and 6 March 2007. During the festivities the authors accompanied Ghanaian friends from different political factions and thus provide close-hand accounts of political controversies over issues regarding how the nation ought to organise and celebrate its Independence Day, controversies which provide important insights into Ghanaian political culture. From this it is clear that the celebrations not only serve as expressions of national pride but also moments of critical reflection on the nation, national values and socio-political unity. These reflections, manifest as disputes about national and ethnic symbols, centre on the conditions and limits of political, social, ethnic and regional inclusiveness. At the same time, underlying such disputes are commonalities resting not on substantive symbols, cultural traits or other objectifiable characteristics, but on a Ghanaian consensus to agree on the issues at stake and on the rules of debate. Controversy thus functions not to divide but rather to strengthen national consciousness and deepen a sense of commonality that Ghanaians generally express as their commitment to ‘unity in diversity’.
DDC: 390 Bräuche
390 Customs
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 07 Geschichts- u. Kulturwissensch.
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-15869
Version: Original work
Publication type: Arbeitspapier
License: In Copyright
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Extent: 29 S.
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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