Maintaining our black cultural heritage in the midst of cultural diversity

Justina Ikwu

Justina Ikwu

Twenty-one year old Justina Ikwu is a student at the University of Ottawa, majoring  in Health Sciences and a minor in Psychology. She is also the Event Coordinator for the Nigerian Students’ Association at the university. She says she is interested in the life situation of the average human, and also focus on self-empowerment of minds and enhance personal fulfillment. Nigerian-born Justina moderates her own blog themed “Scatteredthoughts”.

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Maintaining our black cultural heritage in the midst of cultural diversity

By

Justina Ikwu

 

Transition is a constant process in human evolution, which can be as a result of some subtle form of environmental displacement. In our present economy, countries invest in each other while dealing with resources such as education. Education is frequently exchanged between developing and developed countries. Africans in particular, seek educational experience abroad because of its steep level of professionalism. The exciting interactions with a new environment challenge our roots, and time leaves a trail of forgetfulness of our proud African heritage.

It is no secret that some African students abroad shy away from the little things that make us African such as sense of morality, art, music, food, humor, fashion, and our over-exaggerated pride in being African. They embrace the foreign culture, take it in completely, but fail to apply caution while exploring. The sense of superiority of the western culture causes involuntary or voluntary denunciation of our cultural heritage. The need to express your roots in this western world is discouraged not by the foreigners but from your fellow Africans. Why laugh at the beautiful black girl that decides to tie eccentric African head wraps to school everyday? Why look down on the young African man who prefers his hardcore Fuji tracks to western alternative music? Why act uncomfortable when a fellow Nigerian speaks pidgin around you? Why should you ever be ashamed of the characteristics of your roots?

Our entire existence emerged from Africa. Your individual country of origin plays an important role in the formation of your being regardless of where you are in the future. If we continue to see our culture as a minority, other cultures would see it as a minority. It is an inferior state of mind we have accepted, and no one can elevate our culture except ourselves. It is useful to embrace modern diversity, but always remember to take joy in the expression of your roots.

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