I have been trying to figure out what to write for the new year. I’m surprised at how well I paced myself for this post.
It was supposed to be a recipe, but I decided to start on a high note.
First things first, Happy New year my people! Thank you for last year and the year before. I wouldn’t be here if you guys weren’t reading my posts or here with me. I’m hoping for a smoother ride this year with tremendously new things to bring us success this year.
Last year, I was still trying to find myself, in the sense that I was learning how to pace myself and do things according to the order of importance.
To kick off this year, I want to write about taboos.
I have been very fascinated about different foods and how they affect us especially when it comes to our tradition.
What are taboos? Taboos are pretty much a set of rules; religious or traditional; forbidding a certain group of people or a person’s association with anything.
Hence a food taboo is a practice in which certain foods cannot or may not be eaten. It could be for religious, traditional or for health purposes.
I am African. Nigerian to be precise. I come from the Igbo speaking tribe of Nigeria :)…The Igbo people are known to be “conk” traditionalists. We have so much culture and as much as it just drives me crazy at how rigid and restrictive our cultures can be, it can be one of the most beautiful things to ever experience. I guess sometimes, it’s just relative 🙂
I find culinary taboos interesting and I find it exasperating that a lot of us are not culturally aware. We don’t pay attention to tradition anymore. I found out two years ago that History as a subject was banned from Nigerian schools for reasons I cannot really explain.
When you ban history from schools, how else are the Nigerian students supposed to learn and know simple things like taboos? Our ancestors have all gone to the great beyond and the remaining preservers of our culture have all passed on, so how are we supposed to learn these things if the lines of history have now been banned from being taught in Nigerian schools?
Back to the subject of taboos.
I remember once my father brought home some turtles and had them prepared for some pepper soup. My sister was home from the university and as usual and as a foodie, she wanted some, but my father quietly told her and me “women cannot eat turtles. It’s an abomination.” He really didn’t give a reason for this abomination. Although the turtle pepper soup looked delicious, I was too scared to touch it. Besides, my daddy’s words were too precious to me :). My sister on the other hand…O chim! she sneaked a bowl of the soup and ate it with all excitement. I honestly thought she would die oh, but she didn’t…Ngwanu! Wehldone daddy! Wehldone sir!
Apart from taboos being respected by our African traditional religion, Christians have also added theirs to the mix.
Once I was told by my former house fellowship leader not to eat cat fish, I wondered why because if I ever thought of not eating cat fish, it would be because of it’s place in the food chain as a burrower and it’s slimy nature.
Well, my house fellowship leader gave his reasons to be that cat fish were caught and used for sacrifices and incisions made on them with certain juju before they were released back into the water from whence they were caught.
Another thing was snails. Someone once told me that if I ate snails, I would move slowly in life because snails moved slowly. Fadaghad!