The Lagos Culture
By Tosin Odubela
July 14, 2010 at 4:43pm
Generally, the world is usually less distinct and less divergent from the perspective of a young and growing mind in terms of culture. Everything in the world is essentially the same save for the Universals –“ traits that tend to distinguish Homo sapiens from other species like kinship, family living, child care, and food (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2008). However, growing up as a Yoruba boy seems to be different. Quite early enough, concepts like demonstrating respect for elderly persons, “diplomatic hospitality” and grazing colourful parties are introduced as the norm. Also coupled with these is the development of a deep dress sense as well as an early exposure to adages, idioms and idiomatic expressions. While this is similar with most African cultures, growing up in Lagos, Nigeria introduces some significant deviations.
With a view of summarising the significant components that beams against my cultural backdrop by projecting the different sources of influence, and the effect of assimilation, acculturation and pluralism, this paper examines the Lagos culture as it distinguishes itself from other known and popular cultures in Nigeria.
Growing up in a city that have maintained an interesting free mix of diverse people from different cultural orientation also contributed to the “PostModern” blend of cultures (Kottak & Kozaitis, 2008) that characterise my unique breed. This blend, sometimes known as the “Lagos Culture” (based on the geographical location where I grew up) depicts an interesting cultural orientation that aggregates people that have “learned to manage multiple identities, depending on place and context”. For example, in the spirit of multiculturalism, one of the patriotic tenets that underscore nationalism in Nigeria, a typical public school based in Lagos like the one I attended imposes extra-curricular activities. Some of these activities are designed to school the young mind to...