âIt was imperative to revisit the traditional values ââof the past and integrate some of the cultures that mark us as Ghanaians, to sensitize the members, that all was not lost in terms of traditional cultures.
âAs Ghanaians, we need to save as much as possible of our past cultures; while some churches frown on some of our traditional cultures, others have adopted it and incorporated it into gospel songs with traditional rhythms, âsaid Reverend Laryea.
Reverend Laryea said this in Accra at a conference to mark the celebration of Homowo, a festival of Ga, and was hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Osu District and the Osu Ebenezer Congregation Committee. on ecumenical and social relations.
The conference was on the subject; âJesus the true bread of life: the significance of the millet plantation tradition for the Christian faithâ.
He said the conference was part of the Church’s mandate to educate people about the need to value their relationship as Christians with people of other faiths.
Reverend Laryea said the churches’ millet planting ritual takes place around the same time as the Homowo celebrations in August and September, adding that the annual ritual serves as a service of thanksgiving during which members of the congregation bring the fruits of their labor to the church to thank God.
He postulated that, âIt is around this same period that there is general thanksgiving by indigenous peoples everywhere; people thank the gods they serve for providing them with protection and care during the year â.
He explained that the millet symbolizes the bread and the principle of life on which the Ga religion was based, adding that, it is for this reason that when a traditional priest was laid in state before his burial, a branch of millet was placed in his hands as part of funeral rituals.
“The ritual of sowing millet, is a symbolic expression at the heart of which is a strong desire of the supplicants for life and all that encapsulates life in its entirety, food, fish, water, good health, prosperity and protection between others, “he added.
He said that millet finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, adding that in Christ’s earthly ministry he healed the sick, providing for the poor and the socially disadvantaged, as well as teaching and educating people about life, defend the defenseless and seek Justice for the oppressed.
Reverend Laryea said the ritual of planting millet signifies the importance of agriculture in sustaining our livelihoods as human beings.
Mr. Emmanuel Amatei Akuete, president of the event, said that the month of August has been declared by the Church as Heritage Month to educate people on their traditional values ââand the need to integrate the cultures of the past, to improve people’s standard of living.
He tasked Ghanaians to ensure that their pupils can read, write and understand their local languages, in addition to English and other languages, to fully enjoy life and be competitive in all disciplines.