Culture is unique and distinct. It brings about identity and sense of belonging. I really adore our Ghanaian culture, our way of life and values. But I think there are some traditions that needs to be either modified or stopped especially the way and manner in which funerals are held in this country.
The Akans in particular makes funerals very expensive and costly sometimes accruing huge debts. I believe the only thing we should copy the “Whites” is the way in which they hold their funerals . It takes a week or less, have memorial service either at home or church, afterwards everyone goes home. No after party !
These expensive funerals we’ve been practicing are really putting families into debts. Anytime you try to stand against such practices, you’re been reminded “It’s our culture” . When the final funeral rites approaches, loved ones come from all walks of life to settle in the family house of the deceased especially on Thursday, the cost of their expenses such as food, drinks among others becomes the family’s burden and responsibility. So from Thursday to Sunday, all what the visitors will eat comes from the family’s pockets .
What kind of culture is this ? I believe and know something should be done about this . There’s no problem if families are wealthy to do this but at the end , that money could have done a lot for the living in the family. These expensive funerals won’t bring the dead back! It’s even shocking when the deceased was living , never received such money from the family but would spend on their day of death. “Eyaa akoye se nipa do funu sen oteasefo” It’s becoming a tradition now that people love the dead more than the living. What a shame!
In the name of culture, fear grips the soul when a family member dies because the thoughts of where to get money keeps popping up. Funeral celebrations should be made simple and out of respect. The dead are to be respected and honoured, not to use the occasion to extract money for selfish gains. If you have money to offer, give it to people when they are alive , not when they are laid in their caskets.
When the dead arises, would they be shocked seeing all the people around them mourning and wailing or would appreciate their mourners? When the dead arises, I’m sure most will slap all their fake mourners around. Make funerals simple, love and appreciate people while they are alive!