Daily Graphic Ghana - The 2015 Yam Festival of the chiefs and people of the Asogli state in the Volta Region has been launched, with a call on Ewes living in the diaspora to patronise the festival.
It is slated to take place in Ho from August 22 to September 22, 2015.
According to the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Abla Dzifa Gomashie, festivals were aimed at bringing all persons who hailed from a particular community together.
Speaking at the launch of the festival in Accra yesterday, she bemoaned the fact that many people in the diaspora did not make coming home to participate in festivals a priority, adding that they had thus lost their Ghanaian identity.
“Coming home to fully participate in a festival shows true meaning of patriotism,” she added.
Mrs Gomashie urged those living in the diaspora to come home during festivals and reconnect with friends and family they had not seen over the years, as well as to contribute their quota to the development of their communities.
She said it was the responsibility of the Asogli people to ensure that the Asogli state attained its development goals.
Mrs Gomashie called on persons within and outside the region to recognise that there was strength in unity which attracted persons from around the world to come together towards one purpose.
The celebration of the Yam Festival by the Asoglis was brought down from Notsie in Togo where it is still celebrated.
It provides an opportunity to experience traditional music, dance and storytelling skills.
The four-week event is on the theme: “All hands on deck, harnessing the full potential of the Asogli state for accelerated development,” and expected to attract local and foreign tourists.
Highlights of the celebration would include a health walk, an excursion to the Galenkui Mountain, pilgrimage to the ancestral home of Asogli in Notsie in the Republic of Togo, hailing of the new yam, women’s day celebration, yam weighing competition, the sitting in state of the Agbogbomefia and a grand durbar.
The Divisional Chief of Ho-Heve, Togbe Anikpi III, who chaired the launch, described the festival as an “important homecoming” for the Asoglis and called for the support of all towards a successful celebration.
He explained that the Asogli Festival was celebrated to foster unity through forgiveness and reconciliation, adding that it also served as an annual re-affirmation of allegiance by all chiefs and their subjects in the Asogli state to the Agbogbome stool.
Togbe Anikpi, who appealed to the indigenes to tidy their environment to avoid sanitation-related diseases during the celebration, also called on them to participate fully in all the festival-related activities.
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