Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Small World

I live and work in Ghana, but a lot of the fiction I read takes place in the US. Right now I am reading Harlan Coben's, The Innocent which is an entertaining thriller that takes place mostly in New Jersey. Although it does have a Nevada connection. I purchased the book because I had read and enjoyed some of Coben's Myron Bolitar series. All of which also take place in the US. So I was reading a US novel set in New Jersey tonight in Ghana and came across this particular passage:

The driver was dark-skinned and spoke with some sort of African accent. Matt gave him their address in Irvington. The driver was chatty. He was from Ghana, he told them. He had six children. Two of them lived here with him, the rest were back in Ghana with his wife. (p. 229).
I am beginning to suspect that Ghanaians like Estonians are everywhere, but nobody realizes this until they actually have a connection with the country.

1 comment:

Ronan Fitzgerald said...

Yeah I think this is the case. Immigration seems to advance through social networks, so the Irish town I grew up in during the boom had a good bit (not a huge amount) of Ghanaian immigration. Other national groups ended up disproportionately in other places, so one Midlands town had such a significant amount of Brazillian immigration that they ended up celebrating Carnival each year. Most Somali's ended up in Dublin (afaict) while Nigerians were the largest immigrant group from Africa (I'd assume due to the size of the country)so ended up in most places. As did the Polish, Ukranians etc although the scale of migration was much larger in cases from Eastern Europe.
They were the days. It seems now most people who arent tied down to specific towns (houses, families etc) are just moving to large cities where theres still work, rather than regional towns with high unemployment.
Also in the UK most people seem to remember the post war immigration from the West Indies, rather than the people who came from (I think primarily West) Africa in the 80s +. A lot of the music that started developing in the 90s (dubstep, grime etc - I think) is apparently influenced to a large degree by that wave, afaik.
I think it's interesting, and would like to read a general history on migration trends in the past 30-40 years.