Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Yoruba Culture: Creating Respect or a Subservient culture?

The Yoruba's occupy the western part of Nigeria. They are largely regarded as the first tribe in Nigeria to make education a priority, a necessity.

This makes me proud. It makes me glad that I am a yoruba girl.

Thumbs up, Awolowo & his cronnies.

We kneel before our elders, we don't call them by name. Everyone is aunty or uncle. Even our house maids and drivers. When we see our elders standing, we give up our seats. We use ''eh'' a yoruba word for 'you' but specifically for the older person,, we don't talk back to our parents/elders (  no matter the situation). We are not rude to our elders but it is okay to gossip about them behind them. When we hear the talking drums, we jump up and dance to the tWe take aso-ebi with our friends and family for many occassions and sometimes rack up debts for our poor  dads/husbands/man in our life to pay. We consider friends the clothes we cover ourselves with.  It is our culture. It is the Yoruba way.

But like the Book of Revelation states...nevertheless, I have a few things against you.

Proud Yoruba girl yet I realise I have a problem with speaking my mind about issues. I don't speak up to elders when they do wrong or something to upset me. I swallow and push it down my guts.

And I find that this is the way it is for my yoruba friends.

My Igbo/Calabar friends/Yoruba girls who did not grow up in Nigeria speak their minds. They tell you off as soon as you do something wrong. They are considered rude but they tell the truth even though people get incensed by it. They convey the truth without any sweeteners or honey. They say it as they see it. ( they are amazing people to have around)

Some people may argue that it is possibly an individual issue but I daresay that such a person should look around him and pay attention to the damage this subservient culture is causing.

Respect is good, do not get me wrong but at what cost are we breeding kids and telling them to shut up and not question adults? The world is such a large place and information is at the finger tips of everyone. .

I find it difficult to be rude even when I am terribly upset. I convey my displeasure with words that are not disrecpectful but does not necessarily portray to the annoyee that I am upset.
This gets me thinking.

Is the Yoruba culture with all its greetings and respect undertones causing more harm than good? Are we breeding children who cannot speak about things they perceive to be wrong because an 'elder' said it? Are we enslaving our children in the name  of the Yoruba culture?

I know I will get an earful from my Yoruba senoirs. On the flip side, my hubs will think he has successfully indoctrinated me. But seriously, are we making a difference in the name of culture or wrecking havoc?
So I am here to say, prostrating and kneeling is good, respect is beautiful but please please let it not create an adverse effect on our generation in the name of culture


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  2. Nice to see your article. I have written a similar article on Nigeria culture and respect. http://fopesaiye.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/