Monday, 15 March 2010

Patriotic? Who? Me??

I have never considered myself particularly patriotic. I do love Ghana....I will go to the stadium and cheer for the Black Stars even though I am not really a football fan....I’ll even watch a boxing match if I have to.....I will wear national colours and make act appropriately when the pledge or anthem is being said...I voted...I even have aspirations of serving my country in a high office [not one I need to campaign for though]....and I wouldn’t really want to live anywhere else but Ghana but I don’t really think of myself as being especially ‘patriotic’, just ‘normal’.
Funny enough since coming to the wilderness, Aberdeen, It seems
‘patriotism’
is my middle name. At least, people I have met seem to think so. [I do love my country, for one it is hot and sunny; and I would rather be hot than cold any day.] People here will often ask you if you want to go back home and my vehement ‘yes!’ seems to always,always! surprise them. I have even met some Nigerians who give me that ‘are-you-crazy-you-have-escaped-and-you-want-to-return-look’ and talk. I do point it out to them that we are not in the same boat, so they can be grateful for their escape, I do not need to be...and May Gold help us,will never be [Track playing: Sarkodie: borga].
One woman cracked me up by asking me why I would want to go back. I threw my head back and laughed. Why would I want to stay here in Aberdeen? I replied. [I am Ghanaian. I’m allowed to answer a question with another]. But what’s back there for you? She persisted. She was a cute old lady and I wasn’t offended at all. In the few minutes we stood at the bus stop waiting for our buses, I tried to explain to her the lovely [warm] country that I come from, which shines and stands out from the crowd of disorder surrounding it. Told her it wasn’t perfect, but it was far from a hellish nightmare, and I want to have a hand in improving it. Aren’t you patriotic! She seemed impressed and told me my [big] eyes had lit up and she believed I believed what I was saying.[duh!] [...maybe she was only impressed because I told her if she lived in Ghana she probably wouldn’t have to live alone and do her own groceries, unless she wanted to...what are children, grandchildren and house helps for? Anyway, she also made a few comments about Nigeria but I do not want her to be lynched]
My bus arrived and as the queue moved forward for us to board the bus, I heard her tell her friend to look at the “nice Ghanaian girl” and “maybe they should visit Ghana sometime”. Obua, she’s not going anywhere but at least she may have a slightly more positive image of one place in Africa, specifically Ghana and that sort of made me proud.
I never thought patriotism could be defined as enjoying talking about your country or encouraging people to visit it least of all a strong desire to return home after staying in a desolate place [read as Aberdeen]. Thought it was more romantic and [early-]Kwame Nkrumah-like...dying for your country, fighting for it or championing it’s causes and stuff like that [in fact, by my own definition only Germans and Americans would be eligible, I think :)]. But my abrofo flatmates seem to think I am a good Ghana 'ambassador' too...so maybe I am patriotic after all.
Who knew??
how have you been patriotic??