Monday, October 02, 2006

October Celebrations

October is here and there’s a feel that the year is gradually coming to an end. Some of the shops already have Christmas gear on display, which annoys me somewhat because it underpins that fact that it’s a celebration that has been overtaken by commercialism and the true reason for Christmas is slowly being forgotten (being forgotten a lot faster here in the west, I might add).

Yesterday was also Nigeria’s Independence Day and we celebrated (is there really anything for us to celebrate about?) it in a very patriotic manner by accepting an invitation by the Nigerian Christian community here to join them in a church service and a promise of plenty to back up item 10 on the agenda (for y’all not in the know, item 10 was Refreshments aka Chop and Quench).

The Nigerian in me kicked in and we invited another couple to come along with us (that’s what we do now, isn’t it? Besides the invitation did suggest The More The Merrier) and we all had a great time. There were lots of prayers said for the Country – for some reason, and a reason I am baffled by, many Nigerians believe that reason Nigeria is the way it is today is because the land is cursed so a lot of the praying done was for the curse to be broken. Personally, I don’t go with that line of thinking – the bottom line is that we have crap leaders, people in positions of authority who are corrupt and a people who have to change from the inside before any significant change can be effected in the Country, not the fact that the land is cursed. But there you go… perhaps that’s why we remain where we are. But not being one for politics, I move swiftly on. [And for anyone thinking on taking me up on this, please don’t.]

After the prayers came the mandatory speeches. Now what is it about us and microphones? As soon as we see one we just have to grab it and say something, no matter how irrelevant. If that is not bad enough, we drone on and on and on. And the fact that people are looking bored out of their minds or falling asleep fails to make an impression on the speech maker who just drones on some more.

Finally, all protocol done, the kitchen opened and the real reason (I’m I being cynical?) for the attendance of many was unveiled! Jollof rice, fried rice, moin moin, Chicken, fish, Amala, Ogbono soup, salads and more were being doled out generously. (I went for Amala and Ogbono soup :-D). The best was saved for last – Puff Puff is all it’s gummy chewy glory was served. I took a doggy bag home of those, I might add.

The best thing though about the whole day was being with other Nigerians. No matter where you are and for how long, you only truly feel comfortable amongst your own people. There’s no getting away from that. The pidgin English flowed freely, the older women were called ‘Aunty’ (it’s just second nature for a Nigerian, anyone older than you is automatically called Aunty or Uncle without a second thought), jokes that only Nigerians can understand were shared and there was much laughter and merriment in the house. There was even someone passing round Gele’s (headtie) and attachments (weave) for sale. Ahh Nigerians, any opportunity to make a quick buck, and why not I say!! My hubby was accosted to buy a gele for me to which he quickly said ‘Ah, and have my wife hide her beautiful hair from me? Besides it looks like it would make a good fishing net!’ To which he got a dirty look in response.

But all in all, it was a fun day and a rocking celebration in honour of Nigeria’s Independence.


Blogger Calabar Gal said...

Yes, October is here and not only are the shops haveing christmas gear in stock but its also getting freaking colder!!!

You asked if there was really anything to celebrate about - Well, Nigeria has had its ups & downs but nothing that a leader with vision cannot solve. CRS has improved a lot in the past 7years!! Woefully, not the same can be said for some other states!!

Check out the positive Independence post on my blog!! Entrance to the festivities is free!! Dont miss it!!

9:22 am  
Blogger TP said...

Nigeria has its problems, just like every other nation in the world. For us, it is part of what makes us strong people who can survive and adapt anywhere. Anywhere I meet Nigerians, I see determination and stories of survival.

LOL at the comment of speakers who just go on and on. Very typical. And I understand perfectly the feeling you get when you are with fellow Nigerians, you just "gel" instantly.

10:01 am  

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