November 23, 2017

NIGERIA CULTURE – CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS

Nigeria is a wonderful country with a complex history and a culture that would fascinate any visitor. It got its name back in 1890s and it was the idea of a British journalist, Flora Shawn. She was inspired from the name of the Niger River, which dominates the area. It means “black” in Latin.

Today, the country hosts over 250 ethnic tribes, the three largest and most widely known being Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. Although they might appear as different entities they are all part of a single unit, Nigeria. What is more, the country used to be a British colony, thus the official language is English. This is used mainly for government interactions and taught in schools. Still, there are being spoken several other languages and dialects, one of the most popular being Hausa. However, the most popular dialect in Ota, is Yoruba.

In addition, Nigerians are known for having very tasty dishes; therefore, anyone who visits this country must not leave without having tried their food. In the bigger cities, the traditional cuisine has been influenced by the international food trends, but in smaller villages the old techniques are greatly cherished. Moreover, in Nigeria age is an extremely important matter. However, life expectancy is relatively low and older people are well respected and looked upon. Also, greetings are very significant in this country. People use handshakes to greet each other in any circumstances, no matter if it is between friends, relatives or an official figure. It is regarded an extremely rude gesture not to shake hands with someone, before engaging in a conversation.

Finally, the inhabitants are extremely fond of art and culture, mostly for religious reasons. For instance, traditional dancing is meant to achieve a certain ritualistic goal and sculptures are usually used in blessings. As you can see, Nigeria is an extremely diverse country with plenty of interesting customs and traditions.