Cordie Aziz is a former congressional staffer who moved to Ghana after losing her job last year. Follow her daily adventures at goneiighana.blogspot.com
On March 6th, Ghana celebrated 55 years of independence. Considering the youth of the country, I was confident that Independence Day would bring streets filled with festivals and decorative items, plenty of backyard barbeques, and a level of excitement that would put the United States to shame. After all, we have been celebrating for hundreds of years, and each Fourth of July you would swear we had just won the Revolutionary War. So imagine my disappointment when I realized Independence Day in Ghana was eerily similar to every other day.
People were still hard at work on Independence Day. I found it all too easy to pick plantain chips from shops that had decided it was too costly to take an entire day off. Vendors pulled their items out of storage and placed them for display at the junctions of busy roads, hoping to entertain a few interested buyers, despite the holiday, and there were no brass brands that incited enthusiasm in gathered crowds. People didn’t even ride around the city with flags tied to the cars and wildly honking their horns, as they do for soccer games and political rallies.