Dance, Laugh, Drink. Save the Date: It’s a Ghanaian Funeral.

The New York Times
April 11, 2011

Ghanaians have perfected the over-the-top funeral, and in New York, these parties anchor the social calendar of the fast-growing community of immigrants.

At 2 a.m. on a Saturday in the Bronx, the dance floor was packed, the drinks were flowing and a knot of young women with stylish haircuts and towering heels had just arrived at the door, ready to plunge into the fray.

It could have been any nightclub or wedding hall – except for the T-shirts, posters and CDs bearing the photo of an elegant older woman. The raucous party was, in fact, a funeral for Gertrude Manye Ikol, a 65-year-old nurse from Ghana who had died two months earlier. A few blocks away, guests spilled out of an even more boisterous memorial.

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