Africa Cultural Immersion
Kametonou Togo West Africa
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I am here on the Togo side of the Ghana - Togo border in this small village of Kametonou Togo, in West Africa. We was told yesterday, that on the Ghana side, the name of the village is Kamet or close to that.
I have traveled for years, and still there are awakenings.
Beads around the waist of African girls.
This is a small Mina or Ewe girls from Togo, however the culture of the Mina or Ewe or this language groups overlaps into both Ghana and Togo.
I search continually for a way to explain this small cultural identifier, would indicated the person was from somewhere in Africa. I have seen the beads in I would believe all the West African countries I have visited, however not sure I can say yes or no to this in Islamic dominated areas. The adult girls have these beads, and maybe 40-75 percent of girls have them around their waist, not easy to know what is under the clothes of women.
I am awakening to my desires. I am more aware, that I wish to continually know when I visit a destination.
- How immersed am I in the culture? -
Presently, I would say I am about a 7 on a scale of 10 and 10 being totally immersed. I guess I removing 3 because I am not force to only talk Mina, I am with Michael and he is talking English with me, and there is a couple of points here where the Mina culture has been more westernized here on the border, than if I was in some road where by the path of western people would not cross with the path of the Togo or Mina people.
I am thinking and going to play around trying to make a cultural immersion scale. Maybe a rating system where a person can say, I was a 9 on 10-point scale of cultural immersion.
There would be ways of evaluations such as…
How many foreigners come?
Are you required to speak the local language?
Can you speak the local language?
Are you sleeping in a hotel or a person’s home?
There is a problem, and there is this idea of seeing the real people or the real culture. This is impossible in a literal sense, because everywhere we go is the real culture. The question is more about how much are you aware of the Mina culture and how have you left behind your own culture. On the other hand, how much are you utilizing the Mina culture, and much do you utilize your own.
This type of idea is enveloped in confusion and lack of simple clarity. To explain immersion in a real culture when you are 100 percent the time always immersed in the real culture.
In the language immersion or when a person is immersed in the language, it would mean, I have nobody that will speak English with me, to be immersed in the culture of the ethnic group called the Minas of Togo, it would mean what?
I have no one to be American with; nobody that tries socializing me to act American or more correct here would be to make me act Yeh Bow or White Man.
The want me to eat Fufu, Kicki or Pate, I am not much on the Fufu world and when looking at these foods, I think fat. They are full of calories of are carbohydrate blasting.
I feel a great desire to make these rating systems and try to allow a person to rate their cultural immersion. It close to impossible for a person to become aware of culture, and study cultures until they have some way of say or understanding they are in or not in the culture. It is annoying to hear people say something like; I was in Mexico when they went to a resort in Cancun. Yes, they were in Mexico; however, the ability to empathize with Mexico is about a minus one after going to Cancun.
I am pretty immersed here, as I have,
- Left the cadeau behind. -
Nobody here has just say, give me a cadeau or gift, they have almost came to a stop, however there is the pig story.
Africa Cultural Immersion
Photos of Togo Girls
Koti Togo West Africa
Normally women of Africa walking around barely clothed is about as much fun as walking in on your grandmother getting out of the shower by accident, Koti Togo was a little more interesting.
There was a couple of girls, I think around ages of 22 in the Village of Koti maybe Kati, Togo. The place was full of girls. These girls are dressed and trying to be more fashionable than the others, who are dressed for the heat or more practical.
I think of many small captions for photos of cities, and think in terms of songs, in Koti Togo, I was thinking of the Beatle Song,
- Back in the USSR. -
When I was entering the small village of Koti, on a very hot and red dusty day, the road was gravel, all was hot. The music groups the Beatles has a lyric from the song about Back in the USSR and it says,
- Leave the West Behind. -
Meaning we are leaving the Western, or the so-called modern world behind, as I came into Koti I thought,
- Leave the tops behind. -
There are girls in West Africa with no tops, or not wearing anything up top, and usually they have a skirt on or something on the bottoms. Incredibly rare, but there are some people with no clothes. However, on a very hot day in Koti, there are is an over-abundance of women walking around with no tops and I did feel like I left the west behind.
Girls in towels, I am not going to show the other version for many reasons, but mainly because I do not want to be penalized by Google.com for having inappropriate information on the page… hehehe
Walking around with less than normal clothes on is not as simple as saying they do not wear clothes. The living in a home in the tropical areas is different from in cold climates. The home or rooms in the home are only for sleeping. The cooking, living rooms, and all the other rooms are outside; they do not need a kitchen inside the home.
Therefore, when you see people walking around, it is more or less watching them go to the showers, the living room, lounging around and as you or I would dress in the privacy of our homes. I find I am wearing very few clothes in the room here because of the heat.
This girl was at the next home over, she had the towel wrapped around her waist and when we walked up to inquire about, I am not sure, but I am sure I did not need a good reason, she pulled it up to cover herself and this is normal. The breastfeeding continues constantly and everywhere, a tugging a pulling by the babies.
The people are modest and see some aspect of behavior as more alluring or not proper, I am not sure that is proper or not proper, and not sure I care anymore. But, the world does not want me or women just having sex anywhere, so they behave in a manner that either encourages when proper or discourages when not proper.
This girl has exceptionally clear skin for here; her whole body was amazingly free of scars or problems. I feel sad for the girls here sometimes, fashion is a big priority here, as is anywhere on the planet. If you asked me what West Africa girls thought about, I would 100 percent sure not say money of food, or problems. They want money so they can get their hair extended or buy tresses or tissages. Then they want a portable phone after that, just like any girls or person on the planet. The men are dreaming about buying a moto or a having enough to give enough cadeau or gift to have their girl friend spend the night, as it is pay to go society. Food is plentiful and is everywhere, but fashion is the true desires, or wants of luxury items.
Well, there are many problems in a village for the skin, a person will fall down, scrape their legs, and a mosquito will bite them and are infected. They do not exercise and they get fat, etc, and so forth. Any girls here over 25 is on the way to being huge normally and huge is a sign of being rich, so they are big.
As best I can tell, about 90 percent of the day was sitting around and talking, just as you are viewing in this photo. Then the rest is walking to see what is happening or in the process of going to carry water or in this village to walk to the outskirts to relieve yourself.
I guess if you want to sleep on the floor on a matt, you can have this experience easily, yet the time involved in what is normal, showering, toilets, etc start to dominate the use of time in your day.
Girls, Togo Girls, Culture West Africa, Culture, West Africa Fashions, Fashions,
Photos of Togo Girls