Date of Award

5-8-1999

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

School of Theology

Degree Name

D.Min.

Department

Theology

Abstract

A Ghanaian proverb in Akan language says, obi nkyere akwadaa Onyame. This literally means nobody shows a child who God is. Naturally, the child grows up into this knowledge of God. This growth is spontaneous through informal education embedded within the child's mother tongue and the culture within which he or she was born. Our culture is rich with various attributes to God. Such attributes are proverbial and also observed in the names given to people. With the lack of knowledge of the child's mother tongue, the language and culture that carry these attributes to God, the child is deprived of the knowledge of God. The problem of modernization and easy movement of people from one place to another in quest of economic, political, educational or religious prosperity or freedom has divorced people from their mother tongues and culture. Thus plunged into foreign cultures and languages, unforeseen social problems leading to frustration and isolation are created. Such problems ostracize people making them strangers to their homelands. Future generations have a total loss of the mother tongue since they only communicate in the foreign language of their residence. My project which is promoting ethnicity and identity among Ewes in Atlanta, Georgia through the study of Ewe language and culture is one way of addressing the above problem facing most immigrants in foreign lands. I started a center of worship and the study of Ewe language and culture here in Atlanta. The center provides opportunities for learning of the language and culture which are largely used in worship. This type of fellowship galvanizes the Ewes in Atlanta, and provides a platform for the learning and speaking of the language and putting cultural values in practice. It is a proof-text that we can be bilingual and bi-cultural as resident aliens. It is a call to end unconscious child-cultural abuse committed by parents who do not take pains to teach their children the mother tongue and the culture of their origin. To submit a child to a culture that diminishes the child's self-worth or self-esteem is tantamount to child-cultural abuse which this project seeks to address.

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