Friday, December 27, 2013

New Year's Eve Traditions

2014 is almost here, and that means it’s time to celebrate. In America that usually means spending time with family at home, going out with friends, or catching up on sleep.  In Togo, however, they bring in the New Year a bit differently.

Coming together as a village is an important part of celebrating
New Year’s Eve in Togo doesn’t have the same fanfare as it does in many countries; New Year’s Day is when the celebrations start. From the city to the farm, families gather to cook a special meal. Instead of simply eating as a family, everyone ventures out, and goes house to house sharing the celebratory meal they have prepared. Family, friends, and neighbors come together as a community to bring in the 2014, to give thanks to each other, and to rekindle the special relationships that strengthen society.

After eating, families go to open-air bars for drinks and brochettes, similar to a kebab in the States, to listen to music and dance, and to wish each other either Bonne Année (French) or, in Olowo-n’djo’s home town, “Odun’kou-n’do” for a Happy New Year.

Traditional Togolese Brochettes 
Family, food, music, and coming together to welcome in a New Year, as in Togo and many other countries, shows that,culturally, the world isn't that different.

From us to you, “Odun’kou-n’do!”

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