Nigerian food culture differs as you move from one ethnic group to another.
I have always cited multiple ethnic groups in Nigeria as the reason for the large number of foods eaten in Nigeria.
There are over three hundred and fifty different ethnic groups or tribes in Nigeria.
We expected that each of these tribes would have different food culture, although there are always a minor difference from one tribe to another.
The Yoruba food culture will differ slightly from the Hausa or Igbo version. This page, however, will focus on what we generally accepted in Nigeria.
This page is about Nigerian food customs and culture, you need to know a little about all of this if you are dating or married to a Nigerian.
Nigerian Food cultures
1. In a Nigerian home we expect the men to provide money for all the foods while it is the responsibility of the woman to shop and prepare the foods
The only exception is when the wife I gainfully employed.
Then she might employ the service of a house help.
About thirty percent of Nigerian women are stay-at-home parent, while a bulk of the rest are engaged in petty trading or civil service.
Only a small percentage of Nigerian women are employed.
Most Nigerian men don’t enjoy stressing their wife.
They are more comfortable when she’s running the home, making nice foods and taking care of the kids.
That is all there is to Nigerian foods culture, let’s talk about food customs in Nigeria.
There are just a few of them that are still being practiced till date.
Below are some major food customs in Nigeria, I would try to make a summary of all the different food custom from all the major tribes in Nigeria. Like I initially stated, some of them are no longer in existence.
Nigerian Food Customs
1. You must wash hands before eating – This is just as it sounds, washing your hands before eating would ensure that you do not transfer unwanted bacteria from the hands to the stomach.
2. Be cautious with meat and fish – this is only applicable when two people are eating together.
We expect the younger person to avoid the meat and fishes until the elderly one gives him his portion
3. Women always cook the foods – the woman is solely responsible for preparing food in a Nigerian Kitchen.
The man only comes in when he feels like helping, otherwise he is expected to stay away from the kitchen.
4. Women Must Cover Their Hair before cooking – I guess this is self-explanatory, the reason we expect a woman to cover her hair while cooking i just so we don’t find a hair strand while eating the food.
5. Avoid Talking While Eating – The reason for this is clearly to avoid any form of accident while swallowing.
We make most Nigerian foods with lots of peppers, so it is advisable to remain calm to avoid diverting foods to the wrong channel.
There are several other food customs and culture in Nigeria, like I stated initially, some of them are no longer in existence.
Don’t Sweat it
Most of these customs we have enforced no longer in families today, thanks to modern civilization.
Our fore-fathers had them etched in stones so that every new family would have to go through them and learn to live by them.
But that is no longer the case, as modern civilization has washed away a lot of the tradition and customs of most African countries.
Families set the original purpose of the Nigerian food culture and customs to ensure and cultivate proper cooking and eating habits, and frankly I would say that it served this purpose while it lasted.
And sometimes I think it wouldn’t hurt to set those customs in motion once again.
There is however no law in Nigeria that enforces the food culture and customs, the rules only exists in the minds of men.
Many people would agree that there is no need to enforce this food customs into law or even write it down, since common sense would always remind you to obey them.
And I quite agree
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