• Friday, June 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

Our culture…our tradition

culture

Our basic knowledge of the definition of culture is that it’s is a way of life of a particular group of people. Culture which is accompanied by strong customs and traditions is dynamic, active and sacred. Whether we like it or not, our culture goes a long way in preserving national unity and integration and it all starts from you and me.

There are many aspects of culture which include our dressing which has to do with traditional attires, our language involving the way we communicate and speak, our artwork which ranges from carvings to paintings and the like. It also includes ceremonies like festivals, marriage rites and so on. These are very essential in our various traditions.

Many of us have adopted the western way of dressing to the detriment of our own culture. We ought to be proud of our traditional regalia even though your gele (headtie) may be too conspicuous, your sokoto (Trouser) too short or your beads too heavy.
Another crucial part of Nigerian culture is language. It is very important and is also one of the easiest ways to identify different cultures. The way and manner in which we greet is not only for respect but also for pride in our culture. My parents always hammer into my ears how my sisters and I should speak our language. I once thought it was stressful but now I’m getting the hang of it.

Festival ceremonies have become a huge part of our culture and traditions. Every single state in Nigeria has different festivals and ways of carrying out their ceremonies. An example of a festival common to The Igbo’s is the New Yam festival, in the North, Kebbi State specifically, there is the Argungu fishing festival and in the Western part of Nigeria, Lagos specifically, there is the Eyo festival.

Coronation ceremonies are part of Nigerian culture, so also various marriage rites which is alien to the western world. It is mandatory for Africans particularly in Nigeria for prospective couples to perform traditional rites and pay dowries in accordance with the customs of your community.

Arts and Craft are also integral part of Nigerian culture. Different cultures specialize in different crafts and art work like bead making, basket and mat weaving and so on.
The people from Edo state for instance, are very well known for their carvings and gold smithing. The festival of arts and culture (FESTAC) which took place in 1977 was a great festival celebrated and the famous sculpture from Edo state was used as its logo. These artefacts represent the tradition vocations, tools, weapons of war, domestic appliances and history of the people in general. Most of them are kept in museums where people see them from time to time.

Our culture serves as a strong unifying force both in times of celebration and adversity. Its ways may seem stringent or limiting at times nonetheless, we must all strive to preserve our culture and traditions.

 

OSARENNOMA OGBEIDE