As rich as the Nigerian culture is, it is filled with so many sentimental elements that prevents majority of the people from living satisfactory lives.
Not only do we cheat ourselves with the unreal ideologies, we also pass them on from generation to generation. These unreal ideologies confuse the younger generation by making them think it is the norm. They not only believe in these things, they work them into their personalities.
The world has grown past the era of myths and superstitious beliefs. Nigeria has inhibited her people in several ways because the culture hasn’t given them the right to do certain things. Moreover, these things might not have been given any attention in other countries. These are misconceptions that should be trashed as they have had deleterious effects on life and would continue to do so unless checked.
Find below some of these misconceptions:
1. Family rites - ‘You must deliver in your in-law’s house’
Some states in Nigeria have strong belief that every first born should be delivered in the native town of the unborn child’s father. Not only is this ridiculous, they also put the lives of the laboring women in danger. Some even insist on naming the new born babies in the hometown of the father.
Do we really need to go through all that? Why stress the mother and child in order to fulfil some cultural belief? Do children born and named outside the country die if they aren’t taken to some town for christening?
2. Women should not be outspoken
The women are supposed to be quiet and submissive in Nigeria. Certain things are unspeakable; and in gatherings they are expected to comport themselves and not speak until they are allowed to. Asking a man out is not acceptable; you have to ignore the yearnings of your heart.
Speaking out will mean being defiant to the culture as our forefathers went through the same ordeal. That was then, this is a new era.
3. Not eligible for marriage after childbirth
It is widely believed that women who give birth outside marriage are considered second-hand goods. Presenting women like that to families automatically puts them to trials.
Not only are they taunted and mocked, they are condemned and considered ineligible. Should childbirth become a stigma again? Isn’t it a good sign of productivity?
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4. Death rites
When people die in some parts of the country, the culture demands that the spouses especially women mourn the deaths for as long as possible. It is not in the culture’s place to teach one emotion; and the culture shouldn’t set rules for someone during this period.
More times than often, the culture inflicts more suffering on the bereaved families by asking certain things of them. Some shave the women’s hair, prevents them from going out and wearing certain clothes. In extreme cases, the widow is expected to sleep in the same room with the corpse or drink the water used to bath the dead body in cases where she’s accused of killing the deceased. Why not allow the law to take over instead of being mean?
5. You mustn’t get married before your elder ones
This is another belief we have worked into the culture. Why do you have to wait for the people older than you in the family to get married before you present your partner? Some people have missed the opportunities of their lives by supposedly waiting for an older sister or to get married because the culture demands that.
What if she decides not to get married or has no suitors? Why do we have to live our lives based on someone else’s standards?
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6. Arranged marriages
Most times, the older ones have a way of hiding behind culture when they want to force their opinions on us. In many parts of the country, women don’t have the right to choose their partners; instead, they are made to settle down with the choices made for them.
When questioned, they make references to them being forced into marriages when they were younger too. So you basically have to watch the love of your life get married to someone else because of the misconception caused by the cultural cliché.
While it would be best to try and work things out in marriages, one doesn’t need to stay in it if the union is pain-inflicting. Why endure an abusive relationship because the culture forbids you from doing so? Do you have to wait till your life is over before you start living? Why tie yourself to a marriage because of the children?
Wouldn’t they grow and live their lives long after your demise? The culture shouldn’t Lord a decision on us. They are simply basic rules we created as guides to healthy living. When they start to become burdensome, they should be changed.