Regional News of 2014-01-07

Elmina celebrates ‘Edina Bronya’

Chiefs rode in palanquins through streets bursting with joyous crowds as the people of Elmina celebrated their Christmas.

In gorgeous traditional regalia, the chiefs, led by the Paramount Chief of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kwodwo Conduah, last Thursday performed rituals at the Benya Lagoon where the crowds converged to be addressed.

This year’s festival was well attended compared to the previous celebrations. There was a sense of togetherness among the people.

Call for unity

Nana Conduah said this year’s celebration had been unique because of the unity and peace the area was enjoying.

He stressed that there was the need for all to help promote peace and unity as that was a prerequisite for the development of the area.

Nana Conduah urged all to put their differences behind and forge ahead to accelerate the area’s development.

Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum, the 2012 presidential candidate of the Progressive People's Party and native of Elmina, who largely sponsored the festival, pledged to work with the chiefs and people of the area to ensure development.

He said he would soon start work on some projects to create jobs in the area for the people.

The celebration, known as ‘Edina Bronya’ (Elmina Christmas), was initiated to signal the friendship between the people of Elmina and the Dutch during the Dutch era of the colonial period.

The period for the celebration coincided with the Dutch festival which was also said to fall on the first Thursday of January every year.

It was believed that the word "Bronya" was derived from the Fante phrase "Bor na ya" which means swim and take.

It referred to an era when the Dutch would throw something into the Benya Lagoon and anyone who first swam to reach it, could keep it as a prize. There were regatta and firing of musketry.

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