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By AGBONZE AUGUSTA
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, culture is refered to as the way of life of a people. The custom and beliefs, arts, way of life and social organisation of a particular country or group. It is the beliefs and attitude about something that people in a particular group or organisation share and appreciates, that is why, a country or group of persons without culture or tradition that binds them together ends up in chaos.
From the days of old, people have been taught to follow the norms and traditions guiding their community and still exist till date. Norms are the standards of behaviour that are typical or accepted within a particular society and it is presided over by the traditional rulers like the Oba, Enogie, Chiefs and Odionweres. They make sure that our customs and tradition are respected as violators are appropriately sanctioned.
Edo culture is one unique way of life that is worth emulating. It brings about unity especially during festivals and other remarkable events done by the Edo people. The way and manner the Edo’s sing and dance interact with men and women outside the state down to the area of the performance.
Love, peace and unity are the best words to compare the Edo people with through this means our fore-fathers were able to conquer their enemies in times of war and conflicts.
Today, the reverse is the case as our tradition has now been watered down by foreign ones. When people hear tradition, they see it as a fetish way of life, that is not worth embracing because they have been thronged by the way of life of the white men and any one who does not practice Christianity, Islam and budism is seen as evil.
In many homes today, parents hardly teach their children our culture as they see it as lack of civilization. Even some children find it difficult to speak their mother’s tongue because it is seen as an abominable act in their homes. One thing that some parents fail to realise is that no matter how fluently a child speaks English, his mother tongue is most important because it will help him define himself in time to come. Many persons have given testimonies on how they got employed in their places of work because they were able to speak their dialect fluently and to others, the reverse is the case.
Our fore-fathers have laid the foundation for the upcoming Edo indigenes to enjoy, these include: our mode of dressing, language, music and dance, manner of greetings, performing our traditional rites such as marriages, funerals, ugie festivals and so many others. These are the ways our children can learn their culture and practice their tradition.
Story telling is another method by which our young ones can know more about their culture and be able to define it in time to come. Knowing the beliefs, customs or way of doing things that has existed for a long time amongst us cannot be neglected for civilization.
A child, no matter how young, should be able to speaks his dialect fluently and also be proud of where he hails from. English language is not our mother’s tongue, it belong to the white men. As Nigerians, we have so many languages from different ethnic groups and they have norms and culture guiding them. It is so beautiful and should be embraced by us all.
Finally, let us build our culture on a solid rock that cannot be broken and the only way to achieve that is to teach our children their mother’s tongue, telling them the history of our fathers of old, stories and also making them participate in our traditional festivals, and other important events taking place around them. Let’s define ourselves, for ourselves so that we will not be swallowed up by other people’s fantasies. We are Africans let’s be proud of ourselves and embrace our culture.
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