Religion and Tradition: The Pillars of Society

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1 year ago

Buenas noches beautiful people. I know I have been away for about a day now, many factors came into play to ensure that was possible. But on the bright side, my Field Practical Training has officially ended yesterday. I was feeling nostalgic leaving the hotel that I had lived in for the past four weeks, and even more so as I watched my classmates drive off, as they journey back to the state my school is located.

I couldn’t go back with them because academic staff of universities in my country are currently on strike, and it was extended by another 8 weeks just last Monday. Coupled with the fact that I currently don’t have a phone and would be bored out of my mind if I had gone back to my lodge in school which will most likely be deserted because of the strike.

It is easier to go back home to my family, since I can use my sister’s phone when she’s at home. In fact, I wrote this article using her phone. Also, I hope coming home would hasten the process of solving my phone issues, so it was a convenient as it was optimistic decision to stay back, and not return back with my classmates.

Moving on to the main topic of today, I was in the bathroom yesterday, preparing for departure when I heard my classmates having general prayer. I couldn’t help but think about how the role of religion in the society. Only a few things really bring people together despite their differences. And I say this because of the bickering that had ensued among my classmates the day before.

It brings to mind a quote from a book I had read years ago (Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe)

“Does the white man understand our custom about land?”

“How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? But he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

Here, Achebe had pointed out the power of religion, because it has the power to cut through custom and tradition which binds a community together, and gives them a sense of brotherhood.

Although, some have argued that Christianity was the strategy used by colonialists to fight against whatever resistance they may encounter, but this article is not for the purpose of debating that. Besides, Islam was one of the prominent religion in the country at that time, and it was brought into the country, because it didn’t originate here too.

More to my point, as I was walking on the road yesterday, I observed many people moving towards a location, only to look up and see that it was Muslim faithful, hurriedly going to a prayer (Jumat). I stood a while and looked at so many people, together for the sole purpose of praying for a better life. I must say it was aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. Watching them move in unison, up and down, like everything had been rehearsed to perfection had always pleased me.

I remember a time as a child, I was passing by a mosque, and seeing them pray, I observed and saw people outside washing their head, hands and feet before going into the building. I decided to follow the trend. The way I hurriedly washed myself, it was obvious I wasn’t one of them, and just because I stepped into the building, someone held me back and asked what I was doing. I remember saying that I wanted to join the people inside. Little did I know I wasn’t qualified if nothing, at least, I wasn’t a Muslim.

CONCLUSION

Somehow, religion and tradition has come to be the two pillars that hold the society together. People do not take tradition and religion lightly. Only sport I would say can bring people together as much as these two. There are the very thread that hold the fabric of society together, and I am sure if Achebe was alive today, he would agree with me.

Thank You For Reading 🖤🖤

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Comments

Optimum no dey deserted o, half of the occupants are still around 😆 Religion is the opium of the masses and it has blinded so many people to seeing things as they truly are. This reminds me of a quote I saw a while ago; "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray. ' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land".

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1 year ago

Oh. That's good for y'all. Hope my stuff's got safely? Haven't been able to call. And that quote is deep as it is funny

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1 year ago

Half of your stuff fall for road, but I think the rice made it home safely

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1 year ago
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1 year ago

This is also my favorite quote from Chinua Achebe's novel too...... Recently, an elderly woman said something " if it were the white man that sold us amadioha , Sango, and the others gods which we had abandon instead of Christianity, our people would also had accepted them hook, line and sinker ". I was so tempted to believe her... The whiteman is very clever indeed.

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1 year ago

What can I say. I guess they pointed out the flaws in the other gods that worshippers had been ignoring. They were truly clever

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1 year ago

There is a saying that Africans are notoriously religious. We hold our beliefs, whether religious or cultural, to our hearts.

I can only imagine how you were just carelessly rinsing your body to enter the mosque haha.

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1 year ago

🤣🤣🤣 what can I say, a child was curious

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1 year ago

A knife has two edges one to cut the bread and one to spread the cream, lol who sad that! But yeah religion can hold people together and can break also. So always respect each others religion.

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1 year ago

I agree, we should respect other people's religion and them too

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1 year ago

Religion has become both our binding force and the world-dividing knife. But I'd in my own opinion that the blessings derived are much more glaring and embraced than the problems

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1 year ago

People have the tendency to hold on to the positives and let go of the negatives

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1 year ago

That's right. In every society, there is a balance of it. Well explained.

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1 year ago

Appreciate you Luci. Thanks

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1 year ago

Betrayals can make a lot of changes, and so we cannot blame why others won't trust easily.

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1 year ago

Sure Garreth, we can't

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1 year ago

That book sounds interesting, and true what the author said on the excerpt that you have added above, not only on a society's perspective, but also in families and in friendship where we openly welcome other people only that some of them would break that and tear us apart afterward.

Sports do bring people together :)

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1 year ago

True FarmGirl, I agree with what you have said

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1 year ago