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|Christmas Culture In Nigeria by Yankiss(m): 9:46am On Dec 26, 2022|
Just look at it this way: You have a birthday. Friends and well-wishers converge. But instead of toasting to your health and longevity and espousing those virtues you hold dear; they exchange gifts among themselves and strike attitudes that embarrass you. So much for birthdays!
On 25th of December of every year, orthodox Christians celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Christ, though the exactitude of that day as his birthday remains in contention.
In Nigeria, the build up to Christmas has even the blades of grasses in a fever. The pace of activities quickens as people dash for extra money for comfort during the festivities. You are not just celebrating the birth of Christ; you are also rounding off a year with cocktail parties, visits to friends and relations; and a lot of sightseeing.
Transport costs soar. About 1000 percent increases in bus fares is normal this period but passengers are undeterred having saved up enough in anticipation of this phenomenal hike and for the season festivities.
As you taxi home to meet your loved ones, who would be mortally offended otherwise, you are caught in a dusty, sweaty traffic, the type you’ll expect if a thousand heads of state are to visit a tiny village, of course, with the third world trade-mark sirens!
Everybody wants something to show off or throw off and regrettably, armed robbers inclusive. There is robbery here and there. Military and police personnel, looking like an army of occupation, take over the streets; with more checkpoints than one can count. These checkpoints have stomachs too and also want something to show off or throw off. Motorists and commuters are hence fleeced at each point.
And finally, 25th arrives almost like an August visitor. You will wonder that this is the birthday of a godly personage. You are only reminded of this by the musical beats that eulogize the event and cast it in concrete sculpt in every doorpost.
Early in the morning you attend a Christmas church celebrated mainly in commemoration of the virgin birth.
Towards noon, the churches and homes empty in the streets. Children cannot be avoided. They are everywhere like safari ants in new clothes. They visit one household after another and are entertained lavishly even by the meanest. The grown-ups turn up in weird fashion parade. You will see all shades of people. You will see people whose existence has long escaped your memory and you will wonder at the shortcomings of cognition, and apologize that you have not forgotten them, only the usual economic strangulation that keeps folks in half-consciousness. It is deliberate, they say – the Government – that brash, faceless mafia, withholds, deliberately, the goodies of the nation so that the masses will forever continue in barren subsistence; after all, only the well fed can summon verve to fight for rights.
“You are looking cute. A aaaa I see, more weight here and there”
“Oh, is that, thought I was starving thin”
That you have padded up is taken as a compliment.
Among the high society, Christmas means cocktail parties in posh hotels. Visits to historic relics. Ride around town in state-of-the-art cars. In fact, anything except a period for sober reflection over the birth and significances of that great personage. As you cruise around town, you are caught by the irony of human values and preferences. And most funny is that you too are not left out in that negligence.
You retire to your house with a steady stream of visitors. There are drinks of all kinds, food and heavy music which blare within the house.
When at last your visitors all leave, in the wee hour of the night, some staggering and toppling over, others striding soberly in spite of heavy binge, you pick a pen to compose a poem. You scrawl on the paper, at first unsure you are serious in any way. But then the outlines begin to form and beautifully:
BOY JESUS IS BORN
Little child he came
But not as you did!
Boy child he was born
In a manger at night
Wrapped in a cloth
On mum's arms he lay
In the manger at night
The three wise men saw
A bright star in the East
Guided by the star,
Came to the manger at night
Wise as they are
They know what he'll be
They gave him gifts
In the manger at night
Frankincense was one
And gold and myrrh
So much for a child
In a manger at night!
5 Likes 6 Shares
|Re: Christmas Culture In Nigeria by doncox256: 4:11pm On Jan 18|
Good prose and poetry.
|Re: Christmas Culture In Nigeria by Probz(m): 11:36pm On Jan 18|
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: Christmas Culture In Nigeria by letitbegeorge: 8:14am On Jan 27|
Topics like this don't make fp, why? The mods should be care selective please. I find this piece very interesting.
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