Diasporian News of Friday, 1 August 2014
Source: Prince Osei Bonsu
Asante Day 2014 in Washington, DC
Asante Day 2014 will be hosted by the Asanteman Association of the Washington Metropolitan Area. As part of this annual event that actively and genuinely promotes and celebrates the unity, culture and history of the Asantes in North America through symbols, rituals, education and ceremonies, the organizers are planning the following events/activities:
i) Saturday, August 30, 2014 (daytime): - Grand Durbar and Cultural Show, preceded by Asante Unity Picnic at Fort Hunt Park, Alexandria, Virginia;
ii) Sunday, August 31, 2014 (daytime): Asante Congress and Delegates Forum in a Town Hall format where general discussions on socio-economic issues affecting Asanteman and ACONA sponsored development projects will be held. Otumfuo’s Representative, delegates of member associations and ACONA Executives will take and respond to questions. It is open to the general public.
iii) Sunday, August 31, 2014 (evening): Grand Fundraising Dinner Dance will be held at the Springfield Hilton where attendees will have the pleasure and honor of dining and sharing the dancing floor with Otumfuo’s Representative and the Asante Royals and Dignitaries.
Purpose of the Asante Day
The purpose of the Asante Day celebrations is twofold:
Educating the general public about the traditions and culture of an indigenous African people that have had a worldwide impact on civilization – namely, the Asante Kingdom; Showcasing the rich Asante Culture with the objective of inculcating core “Asanteman” Values into nurturing our young ones so as to maintain a sustainable community of responsible citizens as well as strengthening their emotional attachment to the Asante Kingdom in any social and economic phenomenon, and
Establishing a network of Asantes, friends and sympathizers of Asantes in the Diaspora to help support; initiate businesses and development projects for the well-being and development of Asante Kingdom in particular and Ghana in general.
Theme of the Celebration
The theme for the Asante Day 2014 celebration is
“Rekindling the Spirit of Asante Unity and Ensuring Civic Commitment to the Asante Kingdom”.
And our Goal is to raise $50,000 for Improving Maternal Care in the Asanteman areas of Ghana. We have identified the need to help save the lives of pregnant mothers during child birth and make their experience more comfortable.
Asanteman Council of North America (ACONA)
ACONA is the umbrella organization of all the Asanteman associations in the United States and Canada. The Asanteman Council of North America currently embraces the following Asanteman associations in the following states/cities:
1. New York, NY 8. Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas
2. Toronto, Canada 9. Houston, Texas
3. Chicago, Illinois 10. Colorado
4. Washington, DC 11. North Carolina
5. Atlanta, Georgia 12. Cincinnati, Ohio
6. Montreal, Canada 13. Columbus, Ohio
7. Southern California
Working with, collaborating and assisting member organizations, ACONA seeks to preserve Asante cultural heritage and promote unity and cooperation among Asante people. ACONA works to harness the collective resources of its members to provide socio-economic assistance to Asantes in Ghana and North America.
The Durbar in its Traditional and Contemporary Setting
In traditional Asante, the durbar is part of the annual Adae Kese Festival and is held in a large open space in Kumasi near Manhyia Palace. Presided over by the Asantehene, it involves a colorful parade of canopies and umbrellas accompanied by fontonfrom drums, kete and adowa dancers, horn blowers and singers.
First celebrated over three hundred years ago after winning the war of independence against the Denkyiras, the Adae Kese became an annual event during which the paramount chiefs pledged allegiance to the Asante kingdom and demonstrate their continued loyalty to the occupant of the Golden Stool. The occasion serves the purpose of preserving unity and loyalty. The durbar is the public setting where all this took place.
In America, this tradition lives on under the auspices of the Asanteman Council of North America (ACONA) Asante Day Durbar Event. The ACONA constitution established Asante Day to be celebrated during the Labor Day weekend in one of the Association’s member states or cities. All Asantefuo worldwide and especially in North America are expected and encouraged to attend. It is an occasion for showcasing Asante culture and stimulating public appreciation for it as well.
The main elements of the Durbar will consist of:
A procession of chiefs and Ahemaas (Queen Mothers) wearing traditional kente and gold ornaments;
The seating of the Asantehene’s representative who will preside over the Durbar;
Traditional dancing and drumming;
Message from the Asantehene delivered by his representative;
Paying homage to the Asantehene’s representative.
Exhibitions, lectures and demonstrations
Speeches by special guests
As a public display of Asante culture, the durbar provides abundant opportunity to educate and inform the general public about Asante history and culture.
Scope of the Durbar
The organizers expect this event to be very well attended. The Ghanaian population in the Washington metropolitan area is estimated at 50,000 and 500,000 throughout the United States and Canada. The vast majority of them are Asantes.
The Durbar is designed to attract the general public since the organizers are interested in sharing Asante culture with the public at large. We expect that at least 3,000 people will pass through the event. Core participants will be members of ACONA and associated groups. Seating capacity under a tent should accommodate 500 people.
For additional information please contact the following names and phone numbers:
1. Kwasi A. Agyeman (President of Asanteman Association of Washington, DC) : 571-338-0130
2. Nana Kofi Boateng (Asantefuohene of Washington, DC / Chairman of Asante Day 2014 Planning Committee) : 301-213-9114
3. Nana Tieku Acheampong (Asantefuohene of New York / President of ACONA) : 347-515-1725
4. Kwaku Agyeman Duah (Executive Secretary of ACONA) : 301-439-5586
FROM : PRINCE OSEI BONSU. WASHINGTON DC.