In Ghana, a person with a decent amount of any sort of food–be it a package of crackers or a bowl of red-red–is as likely as not to look up from her eating and say to you, “You are invited.” You are invited, quite regularly, to join in another person’s meal, to share another person’s food. To accept, you simply sit down and join the person, perhaps washing your hands first with a bottle or sachet of water; to decline, you smile and say “me daase,” to be polite rather than just saying “deh bi.”

It’s one of the best examples of cultural kindness, rather than individual kindness, I’ve had the privilege to witness. I try to do it myself. I don’t do it nearly as often as I should, because I tend to save eating until I’m absurdly hungry. But I am learning.

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