essen Germany Integration naija blues

Mit Diesem Essen……

[dropcap]G[/dropcap]rowing up, we didn’t have a lot of family meal times. My father worked in a different city and would visit every other weekend and we would have bfast together but as we got older, mum would serve him his meals first and we had to wait for him to finish before we got the table. I remember mum sitting by him sometimes making small talks, laughing at his tales while he ate and I used to tell myself that things would be different if I ever had a family of my own.

Then I became a strappling young woman and decided husbands and babies were for sissies and damsels in distress. Then my third nephew was born and my views changed. I babysat him and realised I wanted kids. Then I started thinking about finding a perfect donor. Long story!

Anyways, I was always fascinated by interracial marriages and wondered how they lived with different cultures and I often imagined it was a blissfully chaotic experience but then I met a few women married to Caucasians and they would regale you with tales of how their men found Nigerian food disgusting, how they never cook or eat African delicacies except at a restaurant, at a friend’s place or when their husbands were not present and this I didn’t quite agree with.

I once asked an old friend’s husband who i met while in school why he never ate Nigerian soup and his response was that there was too much going on inside the pot. Stockfisch (okporoko ) dry fish, meat, kpomo, nfi, spices, various veggies usw and I thought that was a completely ignorant reply and quite a popular one too but I didn’t push. That’s how she began living with him and it’s not my place to change his mind about making an effort to try tasting every single nigerian meal his wife cooks.

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Then I had a babysitting stint with a Nigerian single mum who told me her kids hated her naija food and she never cooked it for them cos her ex didn’t like it and made her not to feed it to the kids. One time I was making my all time famous coconut rice and used crayfish which for me is the magical ingredient for this meal and the older kid comes into the kitchen, his fingers holding his nostrils tight with his eyes saying I was cooking crap. I gave him serious warning over using derogatory words and expressions in regards to food which was half his heritage.

When I met Gorgeousness, I never thought about his views on African meals because I assumed he would at least make the effort to taste whatever I cooked. When I make egusi soup, he turns the yam powder, we fry akara, puffpuff, buns, ekpang, we eat beans and yam pottage. Hell, he tried ijebu garri for the first time and digs it. Errrm, he still needs to work on his boozing skills cos it swells like hell and you know how we dey drink am! There are skills involved man! Haha

We went on a ship for a typical German lunch and the two ladies with us nearly passed out when he reminded me that we needed to visit the afro shop for some dry fish! Yeah, I seem to have nigerianized him.

Anyway, my post is in no way meant to disrespect any relationship but when you marry someone from a different culture, you shouldn’t try to suppress it or make it less important than yours. Marriage isn’t just about love, its about respect too and not just respect for her but respect for her entire existence.

Before you married a Nigerian woman, you must have understood that she would come with history, with a totally different life. Mesh that with yours and it should be magical, it should be adventurous, it should be a good difference in the life you once knew. Mixed coupling sure comes with a lot of drama from both sides and the world but that shouldn’t be the reason you don’t enjoy every second of it.

She leaves what she knows and makes a home with you regardless of the fact that life outside Nigeria is a new and different experience. The least you can do is make the effort. Life shouldn’t be about baked beans, T bone Steak and a cup of coffee or rotkohl, Knödel and Sauerkraut. Relax, have some moimoi, enjoy the classic plate of jollof rice, find out why afang or egusi has all the oritsiritsi inside (don’t ask me ….It’s the way it has always been!) as you either chew or swallow garri or pounded yam.

It bothers me that some Nigerian women take pride in declaring their mixed family’s disgust for Nigerian food and that they make no effort to do anything about it. For me I see it like they are exhibiting eternal gratitude to the men for pulling them away from a not so glam life, a life of NEPA wahala and all the drama that comes from not being able to provide the basic amenities as a single girl. It’s probably not so but what excuse do you have for hiding away your culture in a small shell with no labels, what reason have you got for not teaching your kids about your heritage, your very existence, the cultural differences between both families?

Food blogs like dooney and 9ja foodie are changing the way the world sees Nigerian cuisine. Why not tap into that? It’s not the answer to world domination or racial discrimination. It may not even be a solution to the very idea of educating mixed race kids still trying to figure out who they are and where they belong about the different cultures that lives within them. But it’s who you are, what you grew up with. Why change that to make your Caucasian husband happy? For me, it’s a total disrespect to the struggles your parents went thru to raise you. Like I said, no judgement here, just my opinion.

 

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phoenix

phoenix

  • Nitty

    Like Clara said, one man’s meat is another man’s poison … But not disgusting as some people might see it. Food is part of every nation’s culture, and all culture should be respected and one should be proud of it.

    How can coconut rice and crayfish be stinking when it is not iru, or oporoko? Ahahha, I like the way you warned him o jare.

    Hi5 to gorgeous, for loving our food and you are a good cook from what I see . Glad you did not lose your identity and you also embraced his culture.
    Happy weekend.

    • Hahaha yes indeed! He totally digs naija food! No joke. Well I’m no foodie but I can pull my weight around! Thank you and yes I certainly believe as well that every culture should be respected!

  • Duru John de Beloved

    Whether na Wow! abi na Oshey! i still dunnno for sure which to use and introduce my confused comment on this really ghen ghen post! Oh Ookay! now i know!! Bravo bubba,.. Bravvvvvoooo.. This is by all means my best post yet on your ghen ghen blog toh sure baje baje.. hehehehehehhe it was drop dead hilarious heheheheh no be small “Relax.. Have some Moi moi!!” hehehehe lmao ROTFL

    Mehn I lllllloooovvvvveeee this post.. and i love the way it was like you talking to us ya disciples.. hehehe direct from the kitchen while steering poundo yam on the cooker oh! 🙂

    In other news.. this line hit me the most:

    “but what excuse do you have for hiding away your culture in a small shell with no labels”

    And to it isay Ask them oh! 🙂 Truth is Ehn Egbon.. Many are quick to forget where they come from.. Many are quick to not realize that rationalizing (hope that is the right word sha) in obodo Onyibo shouldn’t mean that you forget your roots.. It should only mean that you internationalised them instead.. heheheh @ Skills used in drinking Ijebu Garri.. Mehn that thing dey shock like naked Nepa wire oh **covers face.. hehehehe **Wears cheeky smile…

    This was a totally fun read a tell you.. You know yeah Ausserehl.. when i saw that i had come to your name on the blog list on my Diary ba.. I smiled in anticipation.. heheheheh Mbok where is the love button for this post… **Raises 2 hands up in admiration and appreciation of this post.. I love how you love your Husband.. **Shouts… Oya Future wife.. no! Sorry! I meant geh friend.. hehehe wife is still far.. Come and take notes on how to love oh and beRRa call me Gorgeousness too 😛 but wait oh! So you were looking for Donor not Husband before your nephew came?! hehehehehehehehehe ya just Epic aswear.. Thank you for this post Bubba.. Thaaaannnkk youuuu… 🙂

    • Chei! My main gee, my ride or die bros (whatever that means!!! Lmao) my faithful always there to make me smile Duru! Chukwu gozie gi fine fine! Oya chop knuckle!!!
      Thank you for reading and everyone of you guys for understanding my point of view! Lol at internationalise (Clara knows the skill na)
      Donor gist, let’s hapu it for another time u hiar??!!

    • Duru John de Beloved

      heheheheh @ Your reply. It cracked me up sha.. Its always fun to read your ghen ghen replies shaaa.. 🙂

  • Clara

    I agree completely with you and Nitty on this. Every one should be able to be proud of their culture, including their foods! Of course I myself don’t like every single naija food, so I don’t expect my bf or prospective husband or children to like everything. However, they need to love the food culture as a whole because it should become theirs too!

    • Yup, we all have food we don’t really like. Stimmt ! Love the food culture… Exactly!
      I don’t like every German food, but we still manage to combine our different culture in a good and respectful way!

  • Lohla Windfall

    How about we take it home to inter ethnic marriagesvin Naija, I have a neighbour ibo chick married to a yoruba man, she’s always making efi riro or ewedu etc. She doesn’t dare make ofe onugbu or uha or afang etc her husband is closed to any meal that’s not yoruba I feel really bad for her I mean.

    I love this post, peeps need to be more proud and open to other peoples culture too. It’s disrespect to be anything else.

  • This post made me sooooo hungry. Can you please have me over for dinner when I’m in Köln? Please and thank you!

    xoxo,

    La Deutsche Diva — The Denglisch Blog
    http://ladeutschediva.blogspot.de
    German on top | English on the bottom

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