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Traditions

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Written by   166
7 months ago

While my day hasn’t exactly been the most eventful, I did spend a lot of time thinking about tradition, as I couldn’t help but overhear it being discussed for the most of the day.

One of my cousins came to stay over at our house yesterday. And this cousin of mine is the first son of his father (who is also the first son of my paternal grandparents). Most tradition in my country Nigeria recognises the first son of the family as the heir, and my hometown is no exception. Only out of his own benevolence can he share what he has inherited from his father among the rest of his siblings.

But in a case where there is no male child, then the first female child gets whatever the parents owned before they passed. And this tradition is extended to many areas, including the traditional marriage aspect. The first son is usually the one that gives out the bride to the groom in the absence of their father, but, should the father be alive, the duty falls to him. But the important part of this is that: even if the father is alive, it is traditional for the first son to be present at the wedding ceremony.

In the cools of yesterday evening, as the sun sets behind the horizon, I was alone in the house, as everyone had gone out for different reasons. I heard a knock on the door and went to open it, lo and behold, it was my cousin’s step mom who had come to see my parents. I greeted her and told her they were not at home. She left a message saying that they are having a traditional marriage at their house this weekend, as one of her daughters was getting married, and that was what she had come to tell my parents, so they can be available for the ceremony. I had told her I will deliver the message to the when they returned back.

Less than an hour later, mom was back, as well as my cousin. To the hearing of my cousin, I told her who had come and the message she had asked me to deliver on her behalf. Then she asked my cousin if he was aware of the ceremony, and he said no, he wasn’t informed. It was the reaction from the two of after my cousin’s response that piqued my interest in the issue. The had spent most of the night and today talking about how my uncle ought to have called his first son to inform him about the wedding ceremony and how important it is that he is present.

My mom even went on to tell me about the wedding of my maternal cousin and how her younger brother had stopped the marriage ceremony because the first son of the family was absent. It wasn’t until he came that the marriage continued. All these had made me think about the need for these traditions in the first place.

I have mostly thought of Nigerian traditions as patriarchal and misogynistic. Because most of it tends to favour the male gender. A man can marry more than one wife, but a woman is frowned upon if she tries it. It is the woman’s responsibility to do all the house chores and care for the children while the man is to provide money for the family. The first son gets to inherit all that belonged to his parents even if he is the last child. As long as he’s the first son, it is his birthright.

Although, some of these traditions are dying out slowly, it is still much practiced by many people. Does explains the loud voice of Nigerian feminists across social media platforms. Although, I think many don’t know there is a line between feminism and sexism. I was tempted to interrupt the conversations I have had to endure for the most of the day and say: it is not compulsory for my cousin to be present at the wedding, and whether or not he is there does not determine if the marriage will be a happy one or a sad one. And that it was high time they forgot about these kind of tradition.

I am not saying we should completely forget our traditions, as that is one of what differentiates one ethnic group from the other. But there are certain traditions that shouldn’t be passed on to generations. And it is up to you and I to take the necessary actions for a change.

Thank You For Reading 🖤🖤

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Written by   166
7 months ago
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Comments

It's very different in our country coz not just the first son who will inherit the property of the family but every child will. Sometimes, property will cause trouble among the siblings here.

$ 0.01
7 months ago

That makes more sense, and it is fair to distribute it evenly among the children

$ 0.00
7 months ago

They are still practicing that in Nigeria, it's also in our tradition that the first born would inherit whatever the father had left behind and also the first born can take the place of the father in ceremony when the father isn't alive.

$ 0.02
7 months ago

This exact traditional trend that you mentioned is a very common one. It's funny how one's elder brother suddenly becomes important just because there's a wedding or another family event to be done. Baffles me really

$ 0.02
7 months ago

Apparently, they become the head of the family. LoL. Weird

$ 0.00
7 months ago

The tradition is almost the same in here but as of now we are somehow keeping up in the modern world where not only the males can provide for their family financially, it's half half now but still there are some still practicing that tradition. I think that tradition was taken from the old times biblically.

$ 0.02
7 months ago

Well, with the global cry for gender equality, I suppose it is only a matter of time for some of these tradition to die out.

$ 0.00
7 months ago

Some of the things you wrote are almost the same with my tradition.

$ 0.03
7 months ago

May I ask what part of the country you are from?

$ 0.00
7 months ago

Edo state

$ 0.00
7 months ago

Ohhh. I am from Edo state too

$ 0.00
7 months ago

That's good, btw, am a newbie here. Just started last night.

$ 0.00
7 months ago

Oh. Welcome to the platform. I hope you enjoy your time here

$ 0.00
7 months ago

The Nigerian tradition is very strange, in our region,we have respect first son of our dad as much as we can and every work is for younger one and he has to planned every thing

$ 0.01
7 months ago

Hehe. I suppose everyone deserves to be respected, until they show otherwise

$ 0.00
7 months ago

There's always alot of pressure on the first child, even though its a female. All eyes will be on her immediately she comes a teenager so that she will nor "spoil"

$ 0.02
7 months ago

Lmao. That's for all female children o. They don't have as much freedom as the male children

$ 0.00
7 months ago

I picked that you're from the east. Well, even though we have similar traditions, the practice of Islam has long overshadowed it. Some traditions are good but others might be unnecessarily stressful.

Let's say the father is late and the first son too, who then takes charge of the marriage?

$ 0.02
User's avatar xus
7 months ago

I am not from the east. In that case, the next son takes charge

$ 0.00
7 months ago

Tradition as you had expressed differ from place to place. Mind you it should be respected but one should not be a slave to it. Your story made an interesting reading. Am aligned to your content. Tradition should be respected. Thanks for sharing.

$ 0.02
7 months ago

I am glad I piqued your interest. True, traditions should be respected, but tradition should also respect everyone, irrespective of gender

$ 0.00
7 months ago