Posted by Karen on
The culture of Nigeria is shaped by Nigeria's multiple ethnic groups. The country has over 521 languages and over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The four largest ethnic groups are the Hausa and Fulani who are predominant in the north, the Igbo who are predominant in the southeast, and the Yoruba who are predominant in the southwest.
The Edo people are predominant in the region between Yorubaland and Igboland. Much of the Edo tend to be Christian. This group is followed by the Ibibio/Annang/Efik people of the coastal south southern Nigeria and the Ijaw of the Niger Delta.
The rest of Nigeria's ethnic groups (sometimes called 'minorities') are found all over the country but especially in the middle belt and north. The Fulani, who are traditionally nomadic, are spread all over West and Central Africa and are predominantly Muslim. The Hausa are also predominantly Muslim while the Igbo are predominantly Christian. The Efik, Ibibio, Annang people are mainly Christian. The Yoruba have a balance of members that are adherent to both Islam and Christianity. Indigenous religious practices remain important in all of Nigeria's ethnic groups, these beliefs are often blended with Christian beliefs.
Nigeria is famous for its English language literature, apart from the 'pure' English speaking population, Nigerian pidgin (which uses a primary English lexicon) is also a common lingua franca. Roughly a third of Nigeria's population speak Pidgin English which is a simplified form of the language, for instance "How you dey" would be substituted for "How are you". Since the 1990s the Nigerian movie industry, sometimes called "Nollywood" has emerged as a fast-growing cultural force all over the continent. Because of this western influences including music, dress and movies can be found all across Nigeria including the Islamic and highly conservative north of the country.
Supporters of English football clubs Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea often segregate beyond the traditional tribal and even religious divide to share their common cause in Premier League teams. The Nigerian national football team, nicknamed the "Super Eagles", is the national team of Nigeria and is controlled by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). According to the FIFA World Rankings, Nigeria ranks 22nd and holds the third highest place among the African nations behind Cameroon (11th) and Côte d'Ivoire (16th). The highest position ever reached on the ranking was 5th in April 1994.
Nigerian food embellishes a rich blend of traditionally African carbohydrates such as Yam and Cassava as well as vegetable soups made from native green leaves. Maize is another common crop that is grown in Nigeria. Praised by Nigerians for the strength it gives, Garri is a powdered Cassava Grain that can be readily eaten as a meal and is quite cheap. Yam is either fried in oil or pounded to make a Mashed Potato like Yam pottage. Nigerian beans, quite different from green peas, is widely popular. Meat is also popular and Nigerian Suya, a barbecue-like method of roasting meat, is a well-known delicacy. Bush meat, meat from wild game like antelope and giraffes, is also popular. Fermented palm products are used to make a traditional liquor, Palm Wine, as is fermented Cassava. Nigerian foods are spicy mostly in the western and southern part of the country even than Indian cuisine, but since culture is dynamic some Nigerians do not like spicy food. Some more examples of their traditional dishes are eba, pounded yam, iyan, fufu etc. with soups like okra, ogbono, egusi and so on.
The music of Nigeria includes many kinds of folk and popular music, some of which are known worldwide. Traditional musicians use a number of diverse instruments, such as the Gongon drums.
Other traditional cultural expressions are found in the various masquerades of Nigeria, such as the Eyo masquerades, the Ekpe and Ekpo Masquerades of the Efik/Ibibio/Annang/Igbo peoples of coastal southeastern Nigeria, and the Northern Edo Masquerades. The most popular Yoruba wooden masks are the Gelede masquerades.
For a foreigner who might be interested in watching Nigerians films also known as Nollywood should go for Tunde Kelani films especially Saworoide or Tade ogidan films. And for modern music with genres of pop, hip-hop or rap, D'banj, P-Square, Ice Prince, 2face Idibia, Naeto C, M.I, Olamide and Phyno should be the artistes to search for among others like the old singers and folklords.
A very important source of information on Modern Nigerian Art is the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art operated by the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.
In addition, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, and Naija Invest Gateway, provide real time information on the Nigerian business culture.
Women wear long flowing robes and headscarves made from local markets who dye and weave the fabric locally. Southern Nigerian women choose to wear western-style wear, buying cheap second hand clothing. Other Nigerian men and women typically wear a traditional style called Buba. For men the loose fitting shirt goes down to halfway down the thigh. For women, the loose fitting blouse goes down a little below the waist. Other clothing gear includes a gele, which is the woman's headgear. For men their traditional cap is called fila.