What is Culture:
Culture is simply an established behavior that a group of people is identified with. This unique pattern of doing things is usual passed to next generation formally or informally by observation; many years of observing others, for example when children observe parents or relatives, writings, religion, music, clothes, food or values purposely to understand what behavioral patterns he or she is looking at. Then they begin asking why mum or dad is acting this way or that until they begin inquiring how they could emulate what they have seen.
Difference between culture and tradition
Tradition is a specified way society act as it relates to daily routine of life for example how marriage is conducted, how farming is carried out, how people worship God, the way food is prepared, how younger ones address elders, etc. while culture is a blend of all traditions that defines a group of people, it is the way of life that distinguish different groups of people from one another.
What are the elements of culture?
Language, symbols, values, and norms are among the important elements of culture. The elements of a culture are those components that make up a culture; just like rainfall, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc are components of weather so our religious beliefs, customs and traditions, art, as also history, taken together can be considered as the cultural elements. They give a meaning to the concept of culture. All these are important for our overall development as individuals.
Characteristics of culture
The features or qualities belonging to a particular culture are the characteristics used to identify and differentiate it from another culture.
Here are 5 essential characteristics of culture:
- Culture is learned: The individuals having a culture share certain essences which shape their lives. The heritage is transmitted to future generations by teaching the children about the culture, however there are some ideals that cannot be taught formally but is learned by the children by observation, they learn the language, the literature, the religion and the art forms.
- Culture is shared: Culture is synonymous to group of people the language, the literature, and the art forms are used to identify a culture. People of a certain culture usually inhabit the same part of the world or region.
As you move from one geographic environment to another, you will notice significant changes to the way of life of the people.
- Culture has unique symbols: A symbol is something that stands for something else. Symbols vary cross-culturally. These symbols only make sense to people within the culture, like money, food, Language. Language is the most important symbolic component of culture. Symbols is an important characteristics of culture because a culture’s language is the primary mode of transmitting culture from person to person.
- Culture is Dynamic (blend): Despite the shared nature of culture, that doesn’t mean that culture is homogenous. One culture interacts with other cultures and form what is referred to as cultural blend or cultural mix. This characteristic is usually noticeable at state or country border locations.
One cultures interact with other cultures and are in constant contact with other culture in exchange ideas and symbols.
- Culture can go extinct: When culture interacts, some elements of one culture is adapted by another culture. Sometimes on extreme adaptation, one culture could be completely swallowed up by another culture. Not all adaptation is good, and not all cultural practices or elements are adaptive.
There is no one culture that is supreme; neither should one culture see the other as inferior. Custodians of culture that identifies undesirable elements should be encouraged to adapt desirable elements from other cultures.
Some examples of cultures in Nigeria
It’s easier to identify cultures in Nigeria using language spoken by the different cultures or by Nigeria‘s multiple ethnic groups. The country has 527 languages, seven of them are extinct, she also has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The six largest ethnic groups are the Hausa and Fulani in the north, the Igbo in the southeast, and the Yoruba predominate in the southwest, Efik – Ibibio, and Ijaw of the southsouth.
· Efik-Ibibio Culture
· Ijaw Culture
· Yoruba Culture
· Igbo Culture
· Housa-Fulani Culture
Here is a complete list of cultural festivals in Nigeria
- Lagos Theatre Festival February 28th – 6th March Lagos Lagos State (British Council)
- Ose-Meji February Ibadan East Oyo State
- Lokkaari Lera (Circumcision) Feb / May Bali Taraba State
- Argungun Fishing Festival Feb / March Argungun Kebbi State
- Bade Fishing Festival Feb / March Bade Yobe State
- Durbar Maccina March-April Maccina Yobe State
- Ikeji Festival March-April Arondizuogu Imo
- Njuwa Fishing Festival March-May Buatiye, Bata Adamawa
- Gombe State Festival Of Arts And Culture (Gofest) April All LGAs Gombe State
- Zuru Wmir.Uhola Festival And Giri Cultural Show April Zuru Kebbi State
- Ovia Osese Festival April Egori Kogi State
- Nigerian Drum Festival April Abeokuta Ogun State
- Patigi Regatta April/May Patigi Kwara State
- Kaduna State Festival Arts And Culture – Kadfest 27th – 29th May All LGAs Kaduna State
- Owuya Festival May Ogori Magongo Kogi State
- Lagos Carnival May All LGAs Lagos State
- Amassoma Seigbin Last Week Of May Amassoma (Southern Ijaw) Bayelsa State
- Egungun May/June Ibadan Oyo State
- Odun Oba Festival July Ondo Town Ondo State
- Eid-El-Fitir Sallah Celebration (Durbar) 18th August All LGAs Kano State
- Osun-Osogbo Festival 22nd – 27th August Osogbo Osun State
- Durbar Festival August Jigawa State
- Sango Festival August Oyo Town Oyo State
- Badagry Festival August Badagry Lagos State
- Odi Oge Last Week Of August Odi Kolokumor/Opokumo Bayelsa State
- Leboku Festival August – September Yakurr Cross River State
- Iri Ji Festival August – September Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Imo All Eastern States
- Ibeku Ekpe Festival September Umuahia South/North Abia State
- Ojiji Festival September Abakaliki Ebonyi State
- Masquerade Festival (During Annual Festivals) September-December Abakaliki Ebonyi
- Igodo Festival September Owo Ondo State
- Mmanwu (Masquerade) Festival September – December All LGAs Enugu State
- Olojo Festival 22nd – 27th October Ife Osun State
- Eid-El-Kabir Sallah Celebration (Sallah) 25th October All LGAs Kano State
- Sharo Shadi Festival Id-El-Kabir Fulanis Nothern States
- Felabration Music Festival October Ikeja Lagos State
- Delta Tourism Expo October Delta State
- National Festival Of Arts (Nafest) 3rd – 9th October As Decided Ncac
- Ojude Oba Festival 10th – 15th November Ijebu Ode Ogun State
- Wrestling (Kokawa) November Kokowa Jigawa State
- Oya-Ore Salt Festival November Keana Nasarawa
- Uchoro Usuk Udia Annang (Annang Yam Festival) November Annang Akwa Ibom
- Delta Festival Of Regatta November Riverine Areas Delta State
- Abuja Carnival, Abuja November Fct Fct
- African Arts And Craft Expo November Fct Fct (Ncac)
- Christmas Choir Carol (9,999) Late November – Early December All LGAs Akwa Ibom
- Ahiajoku Last Friday Of November Owerri Municipal Imo State
- Ogani Fishing And Cultural Festival November – December Idah, Ankpa Nasarawa
- Calabar Christmas Festival/Carnival 30th November – 30th December Calabar Cross River
- Igue Festival 1st – 14th December Benin Edo State
- Riye Gateway Musical Festival 16th – 18thdecember Abeokuta Ogun State
- Lekki Sun Splash 25th – 26th December Lekki Lagos State
- Ogwashi-Uku Carnival 25th – 26th December Ogwashi-Uku Delta State
- Opobo International Boat Regatta 24th Dec – 5th Jan Opobo Rivers State
- Kwagh-Hir Masquerade Festival 26th Dec – 1st January Tiv Land Benue State
- Pissi Tangle Cultural Festival Last Saturday In December All LGAs Gombe State
- Ibomfest December Akwa Ibom
- Ofala Festival December Onitsha Anambra State
- Ekpe Masquerade Festival December Efik, Abriba Cross River State
- Ozuruimo Festival December Owerri Municipal Imo State
- Kwara State Festival Of Art And Craft Expo (Kwafest) December All LGAs Kwara State
- Ijakadi Offa December Offa Kwara State
- Seafood Fiesta December Island Lagos State
- Carniriv December Port Harcourt Rivers State
- Aji Festival December Ending Itigidi Cross River State
- Igbo Uturu Cultural Festival December-January Isuikwuato Abia State
- Jibu Festival December-January Gashaka Taraba
- Durbar Festival Celebrated At The End Of Ramadan/Ed-Kabir All LGAs Kaduna State
- Eyo Festival Ceremonies All LGAs Lagos State
- Nzem Berom Festival Berom Plateau State
Image credit: Folami Razaq-africaclockwise.wordpress.com