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The Subtle Bondage Of Culture In Nigeria And The Need To Break Free

Culture can be defined as the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society. Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

As a Nigerian, we adore culture so much that we don’t see it for what it really is. But best believe after reading this article, a different view or perspective will be seen for what it is and maybe break forth from it.

There are so many chains attached to culture but this article will only explain one point in details. Going straight to it

Nepotism: the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. Nepotism is based on favoritism granted to relatives in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, religion and other activities. The term originated with the assignment of nephews to important positions by Catholic popes and bishops .

Now how does nepotism affect Nigerian culture? There by putting those that practise culture in bondage.

  1. Marriages: Marriage which is the union of joining two or more people together by law or tradition is now in bondage as our parent, grandparents believes that the best partner for us is people from the same kindred or state. Imagine a situation where on your daily hustle in another state, say Lagos, you find love and a committed partner who is down with you on every step of struggle you make in life to being successful but from a different state is not accepted to be your partner because he/she is from a different state. I feel its about time we see things for what it’s worth rather than what was told.
    There’s also a point of marriage rights. It is believed that the igbo people ‘sell their daughters’ once they are ripe for marriage, there by collecting huge amount of gift items and cash from the in-laws but this cultural practice is uncalled for and have chased suitors who have just started making it in life. Hausa’s tend to keep to getting married at a younger age when the wife will have little or nothing to offer, this is bondage not culture. The yoruba’s are know for getting married as a result of unwanted pregnancy or the likes and conduct cheap wedding ceremony. Etc
  2. Respect : Cultural respect varies from tribes and have resulted to a major issue looking at it from this point, a Yoruba man would prefer to be greeted by a younger person if he is prostrating on the floor, that would be regarded as respect. But if an igbo boy greets this same yoruba elderly man without prostrating, he would be regarded as disrespect. But i believe that respect is in the manner of approach not in greetings. This is also a bondage that we need to break forth from.
  3. Burial : This is often regarded as a ceremony and an avenue for lavish money that is not even available. I’ve seen scenarios where people go into debts by borrowing money to do a burial ceremony where people will eat, drink and have take home thereby leaving you in debts, come to think of it?is this culture or bondage? The need to give a peaceful burial and pay the last respect should not be disregarded but there are measure which this process can take. For example the proper ritual needed to be done should be done, then all form of ceremony and eating and drinking should be canceled i believe because people are still mourning the dead, there should be no need to buy a lot of food to please invites but unless you have the means.
  4. Religion: This is the worst of it all, it is so intertwine with culture and so painful that most people do not see this. Now here is the point. There are numerous churches, mosque, shrine etc in Nigeria today, all claiming to pray to God but fighting one devil, this is so hilarious. I tend to think that my method of serving God as a Christian or Muslim or Traditional worshiper is better than others and i feel i am doing the right thing while others have lost their way, i tend to believe I’m saved while other will face eternal damnation, i tend to believe so many practices is the means to getting closer to God over others. The act of judging one another rather than seeing things for what they are. Imagine so called righteous people doing business and are cunning but the ‘doomed’ people are straight forward. This is bondage and not religion, for Christians who say opening of eyes while praying will not make your prayer answer? Putting earrings and all sort so as for Muslims and other religion. This should be restructured. We all need to break forth from this bondage.
  5. Tribalism: This is also wide as it goes far thus into European and American countries, as they call it Racism. We as Nigerians are also guilty of this as we tend to favor people from the same state rather than merit.
  6. Food: Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism Food is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients , such as carbohydrates , fats , proteins, vitamins , or minerals . The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism’s cells to provide energy , maintain life, or stimulate growth.
    How does this affect culture? As humans we believe that we are better than others in all ways/aspect. Food is not an exception, people value food/dishes from their state than other places, it is often said that igbo people cook better dishes than others and assumptions like this will make a young boy who should be left with choices of which kind of food better suit his taste being forced or coarse to eating a kind of food a person likes. All food should be taken with love and care irrespective of the place or tribe of food.

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