Saturday, December 8, 2012

Truth and Fact

A fact is solid, something you can touch and hold. Truth is a soon as you think you have it, it slips through your fingers.

In Ghana, facts are taught in school. The teachers literally read from the textbooks--what they teach is exactly what they are told to teach. The students dutifully memorize word for word whatever is in the book. (I lost points on an assignment for writing "parents must set a clean example" instead of "parents must set a good example".) My classmates can recite the definition of seperation of powers, but would they recognize a partisan judge if he sentenced them?

In Ghana, truth is more elusive than ever. Maybe it is discussed in the choppy, tonal languages that I will never understand completely. But if Ghanaians discuss truth in Twi, Ewe, Ga, and the rest, what stops them from doing it in English? Nans speaks less English than Ghanaians, but he and I can chat about philosophy and discuss the meaning of life.

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