Youth Global Ambassador: Briyana

Journal: “My African Adventure, Akwasidae Festival” by Briyana Dandridge

DECEMBER 20, 2015- Today is the day that we get to see the king and meet chiefs of the Ashanti Kingdom. This actually occurs during the Akwasidae Festival. During the Akwasidae Festival, the Ashanti kings perform specific rituals to call upon the ancestors of their past, in order to bring happiness and prosperity to the Ashanti nation. That information alone is a very big deal, and something that I am very proud of. So today I made sure to put on my “African best.”My initial attire had to change because I was unaware that wearing black and red was a sign of death. After fixing my wardrobe malfunction, we were able to leave and head towards the king’s palace.

Upon arrival the scenery was very beautiful, there are a lot of people there sporting their beautiful fabrics. While watching the ceremony I think that that is when the culture shock hit me. I am not use to seeing the things that they were doing done in that particular way, so that was all new to me. Towards the end I bought some beautiful bracelets, and got a calendar with my picture on it.

Later that night we had a bonfire. Man, that experience was amazing. I had never been around a group of people that could bring you to life with just a beat of a drum. We sang several songs and danced around the fire. In the beginning it was only us and a few people from the village. By the time we finished, the whole town had come to sing and enjoy the festivities with us. I truly enjoyed myself during the bonfire. Being able to dance as hard as you want, and sing as loud as you desire is a privilege in some places, but here it is normal and I took advantage of that opportunity. I can truly say that I was at peace, and for that I am very thankful.

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