Monday, September 21, 2009

The Streets of Ghana today - Ramadan Kareem!

Today was a public holiday in Ghana. In fact it was a dual holiday - on the one hand (the Muslim one), Ghana celebrated the end of Ramadan with the Eid ul-Fitr end of fasting celebrations. Ghana's Muslim population makes up about 45 percent of the population of about 22 million. And on the other hand (the political one), Ghana celebrated Kwame Nkrumah's (Ghana's first president at the time of independence from Colonialism) Birthday.

We headed off to enjoy the holiday for neither purpose really, but figured we'd head down to a friend's beach house all the same.

What we encountered however was a traffic jam like no other... Apparently the mosque had just let out and we turned down the wrong (or right!) road.

While JW cooled his heels in the stop-start traffic for about 45 minutes along a 500 metre stretch of road, I snapped happily away with my versatile iPhone...

Accra's Muslim community were out in full force in killer outfits.

Below - some of the scenes of the day:

A lady stops to buy some fresh paw paw (papaye) from a roadside seller.


Someone is watching me too!


This lady is dressed to kill! Great shades and earrings!


The guys move in groups...


And the ladies too!


Even the little girls are all dolled up for the day. Looking lovely.


A senior lady in some gorgeous cloth...


And new moms dressed up with baby in tow!


This young guy was all dressed up and had his prayer mat ready.


And finally - as we started to move and the throngs of people thinned - this truck drove by with a 'humbling' message...

Ramadan Kareem Ghana!
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20 comments:

swan said...

You are living a marvelous adventure! I am very pleased and excited to enter your world through your photographs and writing to discover gifts and seeds of longing, hope, and illumination. Many blessings!

GutsyWriter said...

I love to see all the photos. It makes me feel closer to the action. Don't they mind you taking pictures? Or are the people proud?

Miss Footloose said...

It is so happily familiar to me to see your photos and it makes me so regretful I didn't run around with my camera myself when I lived in Ghana! Of course, once in a while I did, but not nearly enough. Now I can see all the stuff I should have paid more attention to and taken pictures of.

Sigh!

Sassy Scribbles said...

nice photos! I'm a little concerned about the baby though, looks uncomfy!^^

xoxo

Reema B. said...

Love the pictures! Just a little suggestion though, I think it is wiser to first ask the veiled Muslim women permission before picturing them.

I am Muslim and come from a Muslim country and many veiled women are very sensitive to this (in fact, I heard that in certain cases, they may sue a photographer! I dunno if that is universally true though)

--------------------
You are more than welcome to come visit the Tea House at http://teatimereflections.blogspot.com

The pale observer said...

Thanks Swan for visiting and your lovely comment!

Gutsy Writer - I will try to keep clicking!

Miss Footloose - after 13 years I am only starting to do this!

Sassy - this is the MOST common if not only method of carrying babies around in Ghana and in fact when my baby was little, this is how myself and his aunties carried him. They are remarkably comfy, despite our western eye that convinces us they can't be!!! This was the only way to calm my little guy when he got all upset as an infant. Akin to the putting them in the baby seat in the car and driving round and round the block! :)

Hi Reema - thanks for visiting. Will definitely visit your site as well. With regard to the Muslim women in Ghana - I understand your concern but I honestly feel culturally it is different here.
I will of course be as sensitive as possible though and definitely take your point into consideration! Thanks again.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Awesome pics. That's a fabulous adventure !But difficult I 'd say:)

thatgirlblogs said...

loved the pictures!

Joemill said...

The rest in the country was one with our Muslim brothers. We celebrated Eid ul-Fitr last Monday and it was a holiday.

Love your blog! It's so pure. :)

blunt edges said...

some eye-catching clothes those!

happy eid :D

The pale observer said...

Thanks everyone - Today's photos to follow...

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

got your msg at the crib - i'm here and following

The pale observer said...

Thanks Crib! I'm right back atcha! :)

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

i don't know why my WIDGET isn't working - i'm not even sure what my WIDGET is ... but sometimes it does get itchy.

my followers section is NOT showing up on my page for some reason??? is that my widget???

have you tried to go to the top and click on FOLLOW THIS BLOG? that's what i have been doing and did this morning with no issues let me know!

The pale observer said...

It seems since yesterday no one's followers section (that's a widget) is showing!!! So you can't actually follow a blog!!!

Mystery of the universe and quite annoying!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like lot of fun living there..
similar to some of our rural towns in India..

Unknown Mami said...

Everybody looks fantastic. The lady in yellow looks great.

The pale observer said...

Yes, people really know how to dress for the occasion here!!! I wish I could get away with some of the bright colours.. but low and behold I look silly and sallow :(

Bukola said...

Hello,
I just discovered your blog through poppytalk and I must say I quite love it. I am a Nigerian who moved to the USA as a teen to go to school and I am also a Muslim. I sometimes find it hard to find places to express both aspects of myself (Nigerian and Muslim) here in Dallas, TX and quite missed the jubilation and fun that follows the end of Ramadan like at home in Lagos. Seeing your post on Eid in Accra gave me a small jolt of happiness. Thank you for that and have great weekend.

The pale observer said...

Hi Bukola!! Glad you found it! Thanks for commenting. I hope you will keep visiting and enjoy. It's always nice to see reminders of home :)

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