“Onina mi.” “Atomoo.” “You are invited.” These are three ways we invite others, sometimes total strangers, to share our plate of rice or our bowl of soup. The first is in Ga, the language from the coastal region of Accra, my maternal grandfather’s mother tongue. The second is Fanti, from further along the same coast, my maternal grandmother’s mother tongue. These two languages are among quite a number spoken in Ghana, West Africa. In almost every language/dialect here, people invite others to eat. It is actually considered rude not to invite others when you sit down for a meal.
This is the culture in which I was raised and why I believe in the power of food to heal. Not necessarily the healing properties of food, which are numerous, most of them proven. But rather, in the fact that when we break bread with others/strangers, we begin to cross boundaries. This, in turn, creates a bond that removes “Other” from our lexicon — if only momentarily.
Read the rest of the article here: