Thursday, August 14, 2008
What tastes really bad but is a symbol of respect?
Okay,this might feel like African Culture 101,but bear with me.I wouldn't be sharing this if It didn't have a point.Plus,you might actually learn something new and interesting ,like I did.
Anyway,I was at a wedding last week and the groom is from Nigeria while the Bride is Congolese. At one point in the wedding,this man announced that it was time for the Kola nut to be broken .The Kola nut is a nut that is native to west africa.It is offered to guests as a sign of welcome and respect and is taken seriously in west africa.Or at least according to the Nigerian man who was officiating.
The Kola nut was once made to make Cola (the soft drink) before artificial additives were used and contains a lot of caffeine.It also prevents hunger pains.
Anyway,back to the wedding:The nut was broken and offered to the bride and her family,as well as the other guests.The man had said not to judge the Kola nut by it's taste but by it's importance.Taking his advice,I chose not to eat the nut when offered (politely declining ofcourse).My sister's chose to be more adventurous and ten seconds after tasting it,they were spitting it into their napkins.So I guess I learnt something interesting and also added the Kola nuts on my "What food to never taste again."(Even though I didn't really taste it.Lol!)
Lastly,I think that I have learnt to always have the camera set.Because those looks of pure distate on my sister's faces would have made priceless television viewing.Oh well,lessons learnt.