For a country with over 250 ethnic groups, it is rather impossible to avoid inter-tribal marriage. This kind of weddings usually come with lots of diversities, especially in the aspect of food, music and their colourful traditional attires. It is such a lovely sight to behold as each group does justice to representing their culture.
Many years ago it was almost impossible for inter tribal marriages to take place, the tug of war that parents engage in before consenting to either of their children getting married to someone from a different tribe was disturbing.
I know a couple who dated for 8 years with the intention of getting married but this wish never saw day light because of their ethic differences. It hurts so bad that it took them a while before they could let go of each other.
However some people have been lucky enough to be able cross the huddles of inter-ethnic differences before marriage but have no idea of what awaits them in marriage. Issues rise from not speaking same language, different choice of favourite meals, children upbringing, situational perception etc. This is statements like “this is how it is done in my place” comes up.
Getting married to your spouse means you are starting a new life and a new family, so be free to imbibe new things and accommodate new ideas. If you are about to walk this path , here are some tips to help you journey through.
Be On Your “A” Game
Have you ever heard the saying ‘First impression lasts long”? It is important you put on your “A” game when meeting your intending in-laws, being your best is necessary. Do not get me wrong, I am not asking you to go break your purse in a bit to try look good/create an impression.
You are required to be of best behavior, neatly dressed and above all be yourself. You would not want your first meeting with them to leave a bad impression of who you are. This is the time to show them you are ready to be a part of their family and culture.
Avoid Being Stereotyped
I advise you neglect stereotyped thoughts, either Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa etc, every culture has its uniqueness. Be open- minded to learn new things : a new thought, perception, idea or even lifestyle.
For example the method the Igbo’s cook their fufu (starch) is not applicable to the Yoruba’s. This will save you from the stress of having things done your own way and facing the rejection of your In-laws later. Remember there is beauty in learning new things.
Highlight Your Cultural Values To Your Spouse
As a Yoruba lady, kneeling while greeting elders is part of our culture. In other tribes however their simple courtesy is to bow for elders.
Before introducing your spouse to your parents highlight your cultural values most especially the ones your family hold in high esteem so as to enable him or her find feel a little more welcoming in your family.
Bridge The Language Barrier
It is so annoying when seated in the midst of nonspeaking language people and you do not understand what they are talking about. So as not to let your spouse be left out of any discussion, explaining to her or replying back in English would save him/her a lot of stress and prevent confusion/misunderstanding.
Patience is a Virtue
In this part of the world, when you get married, you are getting married to your spouse’s family. There are times the family will get on your nerves, but patience is required so as not to cause a rift between your spouse and his/her family members. Do not unleash your frustrations on your spouse when there is a misunderstanding.