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Culture Of Ghana Celebrated In South Philadelphia

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The 2014 Sankofa Festival (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

The 2014 Sankofa Festival (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Hadas Kuznits Hadas Kuznits
Hadas Kuznits has been as a news writer/reporter for KYW Newsradio...
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By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The culture of Ghana was on display in South Philadelphia Saturday at the 2014 Sankofa Festival.

The theme of the festival this year, which took place at 5th Street and Snyder Avenue, was family, as co-founder Nana Kofi Tuuda explains:

“Health is a very big part of family. So therefore you’re gonna hear speakers about holistic health, about dietary laws, about meditation about all forms of healing.”

He says the festival is heavy with ritual:

“There will be an ‘Abusua;’ a family gathering of indigenous Ghanaeans that were born in Ghana and the family members that have embraced those family systems and that’ll culminate our event where we’ll come together and make plans for the coming year as one people again as opposed to being separated by not only a body of water, but based on our systems that we were separated from.”

The 2014 Sankofa Festival (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

The 2014 Sankofa Festival (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Nana Kyeiwaa, Philadelphia Ohema — or Queen Mother — explains they celebrated this weekend through music, crafts and clothing:

“This gives African American people an opportunity to celebrate themselves. A lot of times if you want to wear some beautiful fabric and maybe out of context people are looking at you; but right now, it’s so much color and beauty around that you can just have it on and you feel right at home.”

She says the festival keeps the culture alive:

“We’re celebrating who we are and this belongs to us.”

And as Kyeiwaa points out, they use words in Twi — the language of Ghana:

“Aquaba! Aquaba means welcome. So all are welcome today.”

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