Unlike a lot of European countries, food and eating in Ghana is more of a necessity and a function rather than a social occasion.
There are not, as far as I am aware, many rituals surrounding food as you see in cultures such as Greece, Italy, France etc. Food is to be eaten, after all it may be your only meal of the day, and is not necessarily lingered over.
Even at weddings and funerals food will be handed out in take away polystyrene containers. The only people usually tucking into theirs then and there is us. Everyone else takes their food home with them!
It may just be this region but it is certainly something that I have had to get used to as I’ve seen it happen at gatherings we have hosted and food is on offer. People will politely eat some and then whip out a black plastic bag and save the rest (or seconds!) for later!
For that reason ‘Chop time, no friends’ is very relevant. This is said when someone is eating (chop(ping)) and they have no interest in what someone might be saying or doing. They are concentrating on the act of eating rather than anything else!
It is a little like a child totally absorbed in their meal and not listening to a thing you are saying.
As I write I’m tucking into a little something so ‘chop time, no friends’ everyone, especially as it’s chocolate!