So while I was just discussing with my friends on how we (Nigerians) take culture and tradition too seriously in Nigeria and how respect is killing us. I came up with these crazy rules we have been brainwashed with.
They may look impossible but trust me when I say it is the real thing.
I call them the 10 rules every Nigerian must take seriously when it comes to respect.
#1 You Must Lie Flat on Your Stomach When You Are Greeting an Elder: This is peculiar to a particular tribe in Nigeria. You can’t just say “Hi”, or “good morning”. You must prostrate. If you don’t prostrate, the gods will be so pissed that they may strike you dead. I’m sure you don’t want that to happen, do you?
#2 Do not ever call an elderly person by name: An elder in this case doesn’t necessarily have to be 20 yrs older than you are. Even if it is just by 2 days, he/ she are an elder. It is therefore a taboo to call them by name because you were not there during their naming ceremony. If you do so, you will not have children on your own.
#3 You Must put a title before their names: If the “elder” is not old enough to be your parent, you may put the title brother/ sister before his/her name. And it doesn’t matter if you are family or not. After all we are one.
#4 You must refer to them as Daddy or mummy if they are old enough to be your parents: It is a crime to call these set of elders, Mr. or Mrs. You must call them mummy and daddy (and it doesn’t add up if you are related or not). Your pastors are not left out too… if you want to make it to heaven.
#5 Nod your head and say yes…. All the time: Our elders are always right and they always have a story to back shit up. After all “you can never have as many rags as an elder” so when they tell you something, no matter how shitty, just nod your head in agreement and say “Yes Daddy/Mummy
#6 Do Not Talk Back Even When they ask you a question: This one is crucial, just assume all questions asked by your parents or an elder is rhetorical. Do not talk back. What is it that you want to tell them that they don’t already know? They are wiser than you are. Is it because you have a twitter account or a facebook account or because you are now on BBM? Ehn?
#7 Do not look into their eyes… never: When an elder is talking to you, you must keep your head low. If you are confused just stare at your feet and imagine how beautiful they are. You must never look up especially into their eyes. You might go blind if you do. #SeriousTalk
#8 Do not eat on the same table with an elder: so you must always chill until an elder have finished eating before you eat on the dining table. And if you are that hungry, you may sit on the floor to eat or eat in the bathroom…. Anywhere else except that same table. You have been warned.
#9 When two elders are talking, do not interrupt… never ever: When you see two elders talking shit, do not interrupt. What you want to say can wait except maybe the house is on fire… no! Wait a minute that can also wait- it can never be as important as what they are talking about.
#10 These rules must be taken seriously if….: You want to live long, or you want your kids to respect you. These rules must be taken seriously if you want to make it to heaven.
These were the things most of us faced while growing up when it comes to showing respect. And it is arguably one of the reasons why the system is fucked.
Feel free to add your own rules and share your experiences. And don’t be scared to share this article...
Sadiq Daniel is a crazy writer and Teens Coach that blogs on business, Self- development and his country’s
bullshit. He is currently
working on his latest book: Everyone Thinks I’m Crazy, Slated to be out by February 2015. You can pursue him on Twitter: @sadiqspeaks LinkedIn: Sadiq
Daniel and Email: Sadiqdaniel@gmail.com