When we talk about “Inter” we talk about something transcending a particular geographical territory. Nigeria is a country with a lot of people from different tribes, different cultures, beliefs, religions, views, etc. and thus it is believed that everyone lives in unity amidst all our various diversities. It is all about one understanding the other to live in peace and harmony.
Inter-Tribal Marriage is a term used to refer to the solemnization of different people from different tribes or ethnic groups in holy matrimony. In Nigeria, this is one of the most common practices that has lingered on since time memorial. Inter-Tribal Marriage crosses a particular traditional geographical boundary to another. Examples of such marriages can be; An Igbo man getting married to a Yoruba woman, A Yoruba man getting married to a Calabar woman, and an Efik woman marrying a Hausa man and their likes. Before such marriages can take place, there must be an establishment of commonness amongst the parties, there must be a sense of oneness, this is one of the practices that sustains unity in diversity in Nigeria because it intertwines cultures and traditions together.
However, a lot of ethnic groups are judged by the perceptions of other ethnic groups, hence this is one of the challenges that affect Inter-tribal marriages. Examples of these are when a man wants to get married to a Calabar woman, he might be told to not do so because a lot of tribes have downgraded the Calabar to be promiscuous, and hence getting married to any woman from such tribe is putting yourself at risk, some would even go ahead to tell you not to get close to a Calabar woman because they have a high libido and can kill you during sex due to their dissatisfaction. The Igbos are generally seen as Ritualists, cultists, and greedy people and hence are not advised to be married into or married to as the case may be, some even go ahead to regard them as very disrespectful people, The Yorubas are regarded as the party gods, it is believed that they are so party-minded that they can throw a party just in respect of the success of a previous party, this alone gives a stereotype to the Yoruba because other ethnic groups allege a person always outside cannot keep a home, the Yorubas are also regarded as very respectful people and they are seen as people who hold respect in high esteem, it is believed that every action with Yoruba people must be done in respect as far as you are talking to someone older than you. The Hausas are seen as very loyal people and some people allege that they can be very loyal to a fault, other ethnic groups also see them as violent people and thus always advise their kinsmen not to even think of solemnizing with them.
Moreover, there are a lot of benefits accruing to these inter-tribal marriages which a lot of people tend to forget or rather neglect. When two ethnic groups are joined together, these groups automatically become one and tend to share a common goal which will in turn beget peace. These Marriages make persons of different tribes understand themselves well. Through this practice, people tend to exchange cultures, exchange expressions, exchange languages, exchange foods, exchange greetings, values beliefs, and cultures which promotes satisfaction. Children born into these marriages will grow up to keep propagating the practice of inter-tribal Marriages using themselves as a point of contact to show the world the positivity it radiates. Also, children born into these marriages will get the training in both cultures, they are mostly regarded as hybrids because they are embodiments of two or more cultures in one person.
In addition, Languages, are exchanged to suit both parties, though these couples tend to tease themselves by learning their languages and also passing the same down to their children. The couples can promote their native meals and use the opportunity to let people know how the meals are prepared because of their adoption by them. People should understand that we are in the 21st century and we should allow inter-tribal marriages to prevail and also avoid ethnic sentiments. People should also note that no one is an island and thus people should interact, love, and marry themselves to grow the nation and explore cultures.
In conclusion, Marriage is a great institution with many challenges, people should note that inter Tribal marriages might be difficult in the beginning but through love, understanding, enlightenment, and perseverance we will overcome.
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I am an undergraduate of Mass communication, prolific writer, poet and a public speaker.