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Celebrating Akwasidae Festival in Italy: Promoting and Preserving Asante Culture

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Asanteman Italy, a cultural association based in Italy, is set to celebrate the Akwasidae festival in Padova on Sunday, June 11, 2023. The festival is celebrated every 40-42 days on the Akan calendar, and it is also known as “Adaduanan” as a way of remembering Akan ancestors. Asanteman Italy has celebrated the festival annually since its formation five years ago, and the upcoming celebration offers an opportunity for members of all 11 associations within the organization to come together and partake in the traditional rites.

King Oppong Akosa, the President of Asanteman Italy, emphasized that the celebration of the Akwasidae festival is a vital part of their efforts to promote and protect Asante culture in Italy. The association has made significant contributions to the development of Asanteman back home in Ghana, including donations to the Amadies Foundation and the renovation of its hostel near Jacobu. Asanteman Italy has also collaborated with Asanteman Europe to donate health equipment and COVID-19 preventive items to four different health institutions in Ghana, including KATH and Manhyia Hospital.

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Nana Amonu Gyamfua Susubiribipa, the Asanteman Italy Hemaa, stressed the importance of Ghanaians living abroad showcasing their culture. She recommended that culture and tradition in Ghana should be restructured in education curricula to help reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy. She called on Queen Mothers to collaborate with Chiefs in traditional Ghana to bring back puberty rites known in Asante culture as “Bragorɔ”.

Nanasei Adwenpa Diasɛmpa Nyamekɛse, the Asanteman Italy Hene, countered the misconception that indigenous Ghanaian cultures are idolatry. He explained that following the culture of ancestors is not idolatry but cultural and traditional. The Akwasidae celebration is an excellent example of this cultural and traditional practice where family members come together to settle disputes, remember their ancestors, and plan for the future.

All in all, the celebration of the Akwasidae festival by Asanteman Italy provides a platform for members to come together and celebrate their cultural heritage. It also highlights the importance of promoting and protecting indigenous cultures, especially among Ghanaians living abroad. The association’s contributions to the development of Asanteman back home in Ghana and their collaborative efforts with Asanteman Europe demonstrate their commitment to the development of their culture and tradition.

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