Heritage is always an interesting subject to discuss within a diverse group of people. Seeing the many different customs, food, and other things that people have is very intriguing. For me heritage is an important thing in my family and it is taken seriously. My mom and dad were both born in Nigeria. I am one hundred percent Nigerian, from a village called Imoru. However I was born here in America, the Nigerian culture is still very prevalent in my household.
Religion and Ethics
I was blessed with a chance of visiting my home country on two separate occasions. The first time, I was very young, I was only seven years of age so I don’t remember too much, but the second time I was a sophomore in high school and this is where my most vivid memories were formed about my homeland. The most important thing in the Nigerian heritage is to respect your elders. This has been preached to me since I was a child. This is something that definitely does not hurt. I truly believe that we should all show some type of respect to those who are older than us. This along with the Christian religion is very important in my family. I am a Christian, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but I am not perfect. Although this is true, my parents, and the Bible help me try to be the best possible person I can be.
What is heritage without a trademark food? The most popular delicacy in my country is pounded yam, also called fufu. This is simply as what is called, pounded yams. It is usually served with a stew and your choice of fish, beef, or chicken. Honestly, I was late to the fufu party. I did not try it until I came to Nigeria the second time, and I was so sad that I did not try it before, because it was delicious! I really only tried it because, I had no choice. I am a picky eater, but I adapt to situations rapidly, and going from Los Angeles, California to Imoru, Nigeria calls for a huge adaptation.
Music and Dance:
Music and dancing is a very important part of my heritage. There are many different type of genres in Nigeria, and many different artist. Be that as it may, there are only a few Nigerian artist that appeal to me. Fela Kuti is a legendary artist from Nigeria who’s songs were about the many problems in Nigeria. His songs were very powerful, and the Afrobeat was phenomenal. Fela Kuti music’s is sampled by many rap/hip hop artist now a days for those amazing drum beats. He is very important to the Nigerian heritage because he was one of the few that was not scared to talk about the terrible, corrupt things the government was doing at the time (and what they are still doing till this day). Here is a song by Fela Kuti called Fela Kuti – Suffering and Smiling .
Dancing is of course an important part of the Nigeria heritage as well. There are traditional dances, and also party dances. Party dances are the ones that I am most familiar with. The most interesting things about these dances is that they are usually accompanied by sprayers. This means that as you dance you get showered with money. I must say from personal experience , that you can make a substantial amount of money if you can stay on the dance floor for a long time.
My Nigerian heritage is extremely important to me, my mom and dad always tell me to never forget where I came from, and I don’t plan on doing so. I hope I can one day pass down these values and other things to my children.