Problems associated with inter ethnic marriage in Nigeria and their solutions: In Nigeria, marriage is regarded as a fundamental ritual. Divorce is still prohibited in some cultures, even today, so choosing a life partner is an important part of getting married. The marriage must be accepted by the two lovers, the parents must agree to it, and even society must support it. In spite of this, there have always been some difficulties in the marriage. We are, of course, referring to the difficulties associated with inter-ethnic marriage in Nigeria. So, what exactly are they, and how do you get around them?
First and foremost, it is necessary to point out that people from a variety of cultural backgrounds do not inherently cause all problems associated with inter-ethnic marriage. Ethnic groups in Nigeria’s multicultural society get along well with one another, but relations between cultures in Nigeria can be a little difficult at times. Because the majority of the conflicts take place on the field of power, it can be observed that conflict is more intense at the top of the social system than it is at the bottom of the social system. If the leaders had worked diligently to prevent inter-ethnic violence from spreading, it would not have been as widespread.
The other difficulties associated with inter-tribal marriage can be easily overcome if the couple is truly in love with each other.
- Different cultural norms and taboos can manifest themselves in situations involving etiquette, name-calling, conversation, burial, and one’s attitude toward life. Not only can disagreements arise between spouses, but they can also arise between their families.
- Language differences may result in a simple misunderstanding of what is being said. However, because almost everyone in Nigeria is fluent in English, this is not a significant problem.
- In Nigeria, differences in food can lead to conflict in inter-ethnic marriages as well. A new husband may accuse his new wife of preparing delectable meals. He may also make comparisons between her dishes and those of his mother or sister. Any woman would be offended by such a sequence of events.
- Disparities in religious beliefs and customs. For example, nature-oriented Igbo beliefs may differ from philosophic Bini beliefs, which may be more abstract. It is possible that this is not such a critical issue, but for certain personalities, it may be critical.
- Different festivals and anniversaries may also pose a challenge at different times of the year. In the case of the Igbo, for example, their festivals do not coincide with those of the Bini. Even their notions of worship, to put it another way, are different. As a result, the family may be unable to celebrate together.
- When at least one of the spouses’ parents is religious, religious differences may cause friction in a family where both parents are religious. It also rules out the possibility of the groom and bride getting married in a religious ceremony at a local church.
- Old-fashioned inter-tribal animosity. It is a very rare occurrence in the twenty-first century, but it does happen from time to time. There were many tribes fighting against each other in ancient times because they wanted to rule over the others, gain territory, or simply prove that they were the best among the others. In addition, personal and family conflicts arose as a result of this hatred, which theoretically could continue today.
- Differences in the way they dress. The issue of modesty, colors, and even the type of tissue used is critical in this situation. A woman who is involved in an inter-tribal marriage may anticipate a request from her husband or future husband to dress in a manner that is acceptable in his cultural tradition. For example, a man from the Efik-Ibibio tribe may request that a woman from the Hausa-Fulani tribe dress in a less expressive manner, or that she choose a wedding dress that is typical of his tribe’s culture.
Ways to encourage inter-ethnic marriages
One of the reasons why inter-ethnic marriages are beneficial for the country is the idea of Nigerian national unity, which is why inter-ethnic marriages are encouraged. The greater the number of inter-ethnic marriages in Nigeria, the less divided the country is. As a result, here are ten strategies for encouraging and stimulating inter-ethnic marriages:
- Integration of different cultures: The ethnic groups of Nigeria are united by a common characteristic: their use of the English language. Increased intercultural festivals in the capital and other major cities are required, as is the introduction of universal symbols and common etiquette into everyday life. To put it another way, the goal is to discover more characteristics that are shared by all cultures.
- The promotion of inter-ethnic marriage at the political and governmental levels. It is customary to award a prize or reward for such a type of marriage.
- Announcements to the media: To create a normal and accepted image of such a type of union for the general public, more news stories, articles, and reports about successful and happy intercultural marriages must be published.
- Internet propaganda: Simply being active in your positive feedback about intercultural unions, as well as active in your judgments of racism and intercultural hatred, is all that is required of you.
- Participate in public demonstrations: Manifestations are required in order to draw attention to the problem, to make people aware of it, and to encourage them to think about it. Create slogans and flyers with inscriptions such as “I am not Igbo/Yoruba/Edo…, I AM NIGERIAN.” “I am not Igbo/Yoruba/Edo…, I AM NIGERIAN.” Make a public display of opposition to political leaders who incite intercultural hatred, and boycott media outlets that promote the same divisive policies.
- Nobody has the right to prevent you from dating or marrying a woman or man from your culture. However, make an effort to become acquainted with or date someone from a different ethnic group, simply to broaden your worldview. You will be able to make a personal contribution to the inter-ethnic marriage in this way.
- Cultural exchange: Increase your travel and meet new people! Furthermore, if you already have a family with children, share stories about other cultures with them to help them develop a normal attitude toward coexistence with people of other ethnic backgrounds.
- Educate yourself as much as you can: Read more about different Nigerian cultures, watch videos, or even learn the language of another ethnic group to gain a better understanding of the country. The more educated you are, the more positive things you notice in your environment, and the more expansive your worldview becomes! Educate people about your culture and how it differs from other cultures. Participate as a volunteer in schools or with public organizations. As long as you all identify as Nigerians, you can demonstrate that there are no cultural barriers between you. Disseminate stories of successful marriages, and discuss strategies for overcoming intercultural differences.
- Strong ethnic stereotypes should be shattered: Produce videos or simply provide financial support to films that promote the idea of intercultural and even interracial love are being made. Show these films to your friends, family members, and grandparents to get their feedback. Make every effort to demolish old-fashioned discriminating thoughts!
Consequently, despite all intercultural differences, take pleasure in Nigeria’s rich diversity. Try to accept the differences in cuisine, festivals, etiquette, beliefs, values, religion, and attitudes as well as in other areas of life. Consider the possibility of sharing your life with a partner who comes from a culture that is different from your own. Consider the union of a person belonging to a different ethnic group as a beautiful thing.
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