Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another reason I love Nigeria

I'm used to being called a "drama queen." I can't help it if I express my life in colorful ways. My family doesn't always appreciate this quality. However, I have found that in Nigeria I fit in perfectly. Let me tell you an illustrative story:

This past weekend was the marriage of one of the people from the compound where I live. In Nigeria you don't just have a ceremony and call it a day. It's a several day activity that includes two wedding ceremonies (a native one and a "traditional white wedding") and some other native customs that go along with it, including a sort of "welcoming ceremony" to welcome the new bride to her new house. Since traditionally many brides move into their husband's compound this symbolizes that the woman is leaving her family forever and now becoming part of her husband's family. Since the husband lives on this compound I got to see the whole affair unfold. It was really cool. The biggest part of the ceremony is that the "first wife" (whoever that is depends on the family) washes the feet and hands of the bride, dries them with a cloth, and blesses her into the family. L is sort of the acting "first wife" of this compound so she was going to be doing this. However, L has never done this herself and has only seen it done a few times before. So understandably she wasn't positive about what to do and asked a friend on Saturday what supplies she needed and what to do. The man (first clue) told her she needed to buy two bowls (one for the feet, one for the hands) and a scarf to dry with. He told her what kind she should get and she sent A to the market with another girl to get the items.

They came back with the goods and after discovering a very flowy satin scarf L said "Are you sure this is the kind? I don't think it will dry anything..." But A and P said that this was the kind 3.5 (yes, that is the name the guy goes by...second clue) said to get. Ok, she'd figure it out and make it work.

Later, T, one of the other house girls, came back from doing some errands and looked in the bag. She said "WHAT IS THIS?" and I said "That's the scarf Aunty L is using for the ceremony tonight." And she nearly died. Then A came out and they were arguing about it and T finally said (in a completely dramatic and exasperated fashion) "If she uses that scarf it will be the first time in the history of marriage that a scarf like that will be used!!!" I just laughed and laughed and laughed for the rest of the day. It was the funniest thing I've heard anyone say I think since I've been here. And now it's one of our favorite jokes. Everything is "in the history of..." And T is embarrassed I am writing this, but I told her it is ok because none of my blog readers know her! Hahahaha.

As you can see, I fit in nicely here. Dramatics are welcome!

(Epilogue: We ended up getting an appropriate cloth for the ceremony. And the bowls were also too small, but we dealt with that. It was lovely anyway.)


ange said...

Oh...you have found someone who finally is as dramatic as you!!!

Laurie said...

you have found the right place! It's the first time in history anyone understood you!