Nigeria Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette


The authentic language of Nigeria, English, was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country post colonization by the British. The major native languages spoken in Nigeria represent three major households of African languages the majority are Niger Congo languages, inclusive of Yoruba, Ibo, the Hausa language is Afro Asiatic; and Kanuri, spoken in the northeast, essentially Borno State, is a member of the Nilo Saharan family. Even though most ethnic groups choose to talk of their own languages, English, being the professional language, is widely used for education, enterprise transactions and for legit purposes. English as a first language, but it, is still an exclusive preserve of a small minority of the country’s urban elite, and is not spoken at all in some rural areas. Extended families are still the norm and are in fact the spine of the social system.

Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and in laws all work as a unit via life. Family relationships are guided by hierarchy and seniority. Social status and recognition is completed through extended families. Similarly a family’s honour is prompted by the activities of its members. Individuals turn to members of the extended family for financial aid and assistance, and the family is expected to provide for the welfare of each member.

Although the role of the extended family is diminishing slightly in urban areas, there is still a robust culture of mutual caring and duty among the many members. Generally talking, Nigerians are outgoing and friendly. Communication commences with polite inquiries into the welfare of the person and his family. Such social niceties go a great distance since. Therefore, foreigners who make the effort to get to grasp the Nigerian as an individual are considered chums and welcomed into a Nigerian’s inner circle of family and close friends.

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Nigerian conversation can also be indirect and can depend upon non verbal cues. Many use gestures when speaking. They may smile to mask their true feelings, particularly when disappointed or perplexed. Many employ indirect eye contact to exhibit their admire for the other person. It is common to stare upon the brow or shoulders of a person they don’t know well.

Very direct eye touch may be interpreted as being intrusive unless there’s a longstanding personal courting.