Sunday, September 6, 2009
A Yoruban Birthday
Early last week, Jeremy came home with another backpack from school. I asked him whose backpack it was and he told me it was his. "Someone at school gave it to me." he said. I asked him again and he kept insisting it was his. I looked at it a little bit closer and did see his name was on it. I looked inside and saw a huge bundle of candies and snacks, a game, a bowl, a cup, a pencil and eraser, a pencil sharpener, etc. He told me it was a little girl's birthday at school that day. Of course, I immediately felt guilty. All I had done for Jeremy's birthday at school was send cupcakes. I went upstairs and showed Happiness what Jeremy had received from school. I asked her if this was normal to get for a birthday party from school. She asked me the name of the child. The little girl's name was printed on almost everything. Happiness smiled. She said," She is Yoruba. The people from the the Yoruba Tribe have very big celebrations for birthdays." Then it dawned on me that I didn't know what tribe Happiness was from. So, I asked her. She is from the Ibo tribe and they also have huge celebrations for birthdays and give elaborate gifts. After I talked to Happiness that day, I realized that I didn't even know that much about the ribes who were native to Nigeria. I felt a little badly since I live here now, and I really do not know much about the people who have always lived here. Both Happiness and Fatai told me there are three main tribal groups: the Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba. I found out that Fatai is from the Yoruba tribe. He told me you can tell what tribe a person is from by looking at their native dress. I also found out there are about 500 languages spoken in Nigeria alone! I couldn't believe it. I suddenly realized that I have been living in a bubble. Nigeria has a very interseting culture that I will definitely be learning more about!