EXTERNAL INFLUENCE ON NIGERIAN FAMILY LIFE

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The way many modern Nigerian families live today is different from the way their parents and grandparents lived in the past. This changes in family life is due to the growing foreign influence in Nigeria.

Areas of External Influence

  • Language: Many Nigerian families today use English in communicating. English is not an indigenous language, unlike languages such as Yoroba, Igbo, Hausa, Efik, among others. Some young Nigerian no longer speak their mother tongue fluently or at all. This in turn affect the way they relate with their elders. Also, they may not be able to relate with their culture effectively.
  • Family System: Traditionally, large extended family members lived together in a compound, work together on a family farm, among others. Parents were also likely to choose the person their son or daughter marry. These practices are not as common in Nigeria today. Nuclear family tend to live in one house, without extended family members. Family members do not work together. Many young people prefer to choose their own wives or husband.
  • Food: Traditionally, Nigerian food includes yam, cassava, plantain and beans eaten with many different kinds of vegetables. Today, many people eat food that comes from abroad. Some prefer to eat foreign food while others prefer local food.
  • Music and Dance: The different ethnic groups in Nigeria have rich traditions of music and dance. Highlife, afrobeat, juju and fuji are listen to by many elderly Nigerians, however they are less popular with younger Nigerians. Younger Nigerians tends to prefer music like hip pop and R n B by foreign and Nigerian artiste.
  • Working Mother: Traditional roles of women entails cooking and taking care of the home. Today, women now work as their men counterpart in offices as well as seek elective position in government.

Influence of Religion on Nigerian Family Life

Most Nigerian family are religious. They believe in God and they worship, pray and attend religious ceremonies. Religion affects many aspects of family life in Nigera. It influences family values, family ceremonies, marriage and the education of children

  • Family Values: Religious values affects family values as many parents want their children to grow up in their faith and to live by their religious values.
  • Family Time: Nigerian families spend quality time praying, attending mosques, churches and other religious ceremonies and festivals. They also spend time together to eat and exchange gifts during major religious holidays such as Christmas, Easter and the Eid.
  • Family Ceremonies: Religious ceremonies such as baptism, confirmation, marriage, funeral, among others involves families
  • Marriage: Many Nigerians get married in a religious way, either in a church or in a mosque.
  • Education of Children: Parents who are religious may decide to send their children to religious school
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