1. Foreigners think Nigerians are noisy and loud.- Like seriously? I don’t believe Nigerians are loud and noisy; we are quiet and reserved people. If we sound loud or speak in high pitched voices, it means we are either having fun or you just stepped on our toes. Nevertheless, we love life and always want to have a good time.2. Yikes! They cook with Red Oil!
Foreigners believe we cook most of our meals with red oil (Palm oil). I met Cheng in China Town, Ojota and he expressed how he felt about eating food made with red oil. He said, “even though it was dreadful for me the first time I ate Egusi soup made with palm oil, I will never forget the delicious taste and aroma; now I eat Naija soups like a Nigerian”. If you haven’t tasted soups or moi moi made with palm oil, cooked beans made with palm oil, you are seriously missing. These meals are utterly delicious!
3. They think Nigerian Languages sound weird
Nigerian languages are sweet and if you don’t understand it, you are missing. Many foreigners spend money to study our languages in Universities abroad. (You think say e easy?)
4. Bizarre greeting methods - People abroad think our greeting methods and habits are bizarre.
Our greeting methods are part of our culture and that is why we stick to it. Our greeting styles (Ladies kneel down while Men prostrate on the floor) are part of our heritage, a sign of respect, it is who we are and we are proud of it.
5. Interaction with elderly people is just too formal - Nigerians show the much older people respect by being formal with them. For instance: calling your friend’s parents as Mr and Mrs Lagbaja. Nigerians are raised with the mentality to be formal and respectful to the elders.
With the blend of the western culture and our culture, this is not the case. Nowadays, the young generation show respect to elderly people based on their experience and affluence. They believe age is not equal to respect.
6. When a woman cooks for her husband everyday - Nigerian wives cook for their husbands not because it is compulsory or they are forced to do it. They cook for their husbands to show how much they love them and also because it is part of our culture and traditions.
7. Exchanging foods on special occasions - Exchanging foods with neighbours and friends on special occasion like Christmas or Ramadan serve as a token of our friendship, love and goodwill. I love this and I always look forward to it every year.
8. Foreigners believe Nigerians are not polite and orderly - People abroad think Nigerians are not orderly because they jump queues or do not line up in an orderly fashion.
Why waste time on the queue when it is every man for himself. Sometimes, the last shall be the first and the first shall be the last. Hehe!
9. Nigerians take education too seriously - People abroad do not believe in studying till you die! That is why they find it odd when they see a Nigerian who has a PhD and is looking forward to study for Litt.D, DSc or LL.d.
We take education too seriously because we believe that it is the key to having a fulfilled life. Though, things are changing – and Nigerians now believe that you can still work hard and be successful rather than studying for ages to become a successful person. However, education in Nigeria is important.
10. Being a Nigerian is odd - Foreigners believe that everything about Nigerians is odd.
Hehe! We are odd and we like it that way! Makes me wonder why we have lots of expats in Nigeria. Some who have visited Nigeria want to visit again and again, hoping that one day, maybe they might become like us. Ko joor!