The month of November has been designated as the Cultural Awareness Month to help raise consciousness about the need for Ghanaians to identify themselves with their culture by integrating cultural values into all programmes.
During the celebration, district assemblies, religious bodies, non-governmental organizations and especially the media are expected to promote made in Ghana products like beads, local dishes and Ghanaian films and music.
Mr Samson Kwaku Boafo, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, at the launch of the programme on the theme: “Attitudinal Change, The Power in Culture,” said it was time that Ghanaians returned to their cultural values and attitudes since culture was the vehicle through which our ideas and ideals were conveyed.
“I want you all to imagine for a minute how great it will be in the Month of November when Ghanaian/African clothing dominate the fashion at work places and social functions; Ghanaian music fills the airwaves and Ghanaian cuisine dominates the menu at home and in the restaurants, snack spots and on our airlines. Jobs will be created for the people. This is how we can all support our local industries and reduce the level of unemployment in the country,” he said.
Mr Boafo noted that there was the need for cultural re-awakening to sensitize Ghanaians to uphold and cherish their cultural heritage.
He mentioned work ethics, time consciousness, maintenance culture, patriotism and voluntarism as some attitudes which were gradually dying in our culture and needed to be revived.
The Minister stressed the need for time consciousness and said everybody had a role to play to ensure that our attitude to life as Ghanaians changes to help in rapid development and nation building.
Mr Boafo appealed to the media to go beyond the coverage of news and criticism or looking for faults to taking initiatives to educate and raise consciousness of the ordinary Ghanaians to re-direct their energies towards positive values.
“As watchdogs of society, your role in awareness creation is paramount,” he said.
Nii Tackie Tawiah III, Ga Manste, pointed out that culture was the embodiment of all we were as a people, saying “culture underpins our way of life”.
He said there was the need as Ghanaians to be proud of our culture since culture was God-given and could not be changed.
“When you adopt other peoples' culture you are acting in the point of view of inferiority because you can change your religion from Christianity to Islam but you cannot change the fact that you are an Akan, Ewe or Ga.”
Nii Tackie Tawiah said, “if we want to progress as a people, we need to dwell on our culture,” and cited Japan and China as countries that had depended on their culture to progress.
“Have pride in being Ghanaians, live as Ghanaians,” he advised.
Ms. Lillian Bruce-Lyle, Chief Director of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, said it was necessary to erase the impression that our culture was fetish and repeated that our culture was not fetish but our identity.