Over a week of hardly any internet access and so much I've missed to write about! The football! The Ghana@50 inquisition! The Ministry of Foreign Affairs fire! Thankfully Abena has summed up the week quite well. On a personal note I also managed to squeeze in a 2-night sleep in at my mother's in Tema.
Other than that, we (after all, where I go, baby goes) also made it to a funeral last Friday (sans bébé), a wedding last Saturday and another wedding yesterday. These social outings highlighted an irritating unspoken Ghanaian rule:
A baby can only be a girl here if she wears earrings! I had experienced this before, when everybody and anybody would say "what's his name?" or "what a sweet boy!" even though I'd be holding little M in her girly, often pink or purple dresses. But yesterday's experience was almost laughable.
Walking in to the reception of my Law School mate's wedding, another classmate greets me:
"Your baby is so cute, what's the name?"
"Oh, really? I actually have a client, a lady named M, but tell me is it usual to also call boys that?"
"No, she's a girl".
"Oh! I see...But, where are the earrings?!"
And that was just the start of the ridiculous afternoon. Every person who passed or greeted us reacted in the same way. I shouldn't be surprised, I myself don't wear earrings on a day-to-day basis and have received comments about that several times. Older lawyers in court will come up to me and (out of kindness) remind me that I've forgotten to put on earrings today, but I shouldn't worry, the judge will probably not notice that I am naked in the eyes of the court. (Since when are earrings part of a female lawyers court dress code?)
Since M was born, I have considered whether and if so, when to pierce her ears. After a while I settled on doing it around the age of three, and even then, it would be mainly to satisfy Ghanaian society, to make use of the many pretty earrings she has already received as presents and stop her potentially being bullied at school (lol!), as I couldn't care less, whether she goes earringless her whole life or not. But does that mean that I'm going to suffer the next two and a half years hearing these comments? Or the kinder, but equally annoying kind advice on where I can go to have her ears pierced (hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in case you're wondering), in case the problem is that I didnt' know where to find an earpiercer.
I just don't feel comfortable putting tiny earrings in my little girl's ears as she is of the hyper kind, pulls at everything she can hold on too and then puts it all in her mouth (this includes, my own earrings whenever I wear them). Funnily, in Sweden, there wouldn't be a question of her piercing her ears until she might want to do it, probably some time in her teens! What's your take on this strange culture clash?