Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 42 - You're welcome.... You're invited

One observation that I have noticed here in Ghana is just how polite everyone is. Everyone from the shopkeepers to people that you meet on the street. Sure you run into a few people every once in a while, but by and far the people here are very friendly and hospitable.

There are two phrases in particular that the people always use with us: 1) You're welcome, and 2) You're invited

You're Welcome - Whenever we have gone anywhere new (gone into and new stores, arrived at our hotel, spoken to people on the street, etc...) frequently the first words out of their mouth are "You're welcome!!!" At first I thought this was a little strange. After all, I thought, that is a phrase that is only supposed to used after someone tells you thank you. The more that I have reflected on it, however, there more I have come to revere and appreciate the way that it is used here. The interesting thing is how sincere Ghanaians are when they say those words. You can tell that they truly are glad that you are there and they want you to feel welcome and at home. They will go out of their way to make sure that you have a memorable experience.

You're Invited - Another phrase that is fairly common to hear around meal time is the phrase "You're invited." It is used at other times as well, but mealtime is a fairly common time to hear this phrase. It is customary in Ghana to offer to share you meal with anyone that is in the room when you are eating. For instance, if I make some food and take it to the conference room to eat, if there are other people in the room, it would be customary for me to say to them "You're invited." Basically it is an invitation for them to share my food with me, if they so wish. It is very refreshing to be around people who are so caring and selfless. They are always willing to put others first.

I think that us Americans can take a few lessons from the Ghanaians.


katie k said...

I love that! Maybe we should start using those 2 phrases in our family. I'm glad you are with such good people.