Role of women dating in nigerian culture
“Dating is one thing, but marriage is another”, an aunty told me. Marriage and dating are two different things, clearly, but which factors are fundamental when deciding whom to marry? Love is love, as one of the respondents said, but is it better to stay within cultural boundaries to save ourselves from the potential future troubles that might result from mixing cultures – as some elders advice – or should one ignore boundaries and deal with issues if they arise? Having to decide which culture my children followed more or which one was dominant in my household is another consideration, as I find it important for reasons of identity.African parents, don’t joke with them Young and not-yet-married Nowadays, in this current generation of young-and-not-yet-married, or recently married, we don’t so much as bat an eyelid when we see mixed couples, but as one uncle put it to me, “Where would you live when you retire? If you married a Nigerian, how would you cope if he wanted to retire in Nigeria? Parents’ generation In our parents’ generation we know marrying within their own culture – even tribe – was paramount as they tried to maintain cultural cohesion and identity.When I spoke to another Congolese person they understood me, but when I spoke to someone who didn’t speak my mother tongue, conversations couldn’t be as natural as I wanted them to be.A Ghanaian friend of mine told me “My (Jamaican) boyfriend really tried to speak my language because he realised that it was important to me.” Ethnic capital of the world For me, a twenty-something year old Congolese woman who grew up in the city of London – a city I like to call “the ethnic capital of Europe” – dating someone from a different culture was not a problem.
In fact I wasn’t into my own culture as much because I grew up along a lot of other nationalities, in what I call “London culture”.
Furthermore, as a new generation embracing and becoming more comfortable with cultural differences, might not some of us become examples for future generations of the mixed-culture couples that lasted, if we last?