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Up on the road: online Diary Nigeria – October, 10th 2017

Ibadan. Photo: Isabel Dückert/Valerie Pobloth.

Ibadan. Photo: Isabel Dückert/Valerie Pobloth.

October, 10th – Ibadan

After a couple of days, the campus starts to feel a bit like home. Slowly but steadily we know our way around and develop our own routine. This routine is quite special for us, as the mentality of the locals is completely different and we have to get used to the pace of life here. They call it African time, which basically means that time is a fluid concept and events usually start an hour later than they are scheduled for (except for inaugural lectures). For example, having breakfast can be quite a long process. Our lovely cook Tosin and her energetic assistant Patience are very serious about preparing food. They prepare our breakfast plates separately. Therefore, it can happen that an hour passes until every one of us is served. However, they are such lovely people and treat us like family, so we try to restrain our European habit to hurry all the time and just wait. Patiently - as the name of our waitress already suggests. After breakfast, we are invited to visit a very exciting and important event – the opening ceremony of an international conference on Yorùbá culture and language, which was organized by the Yorùbá Studies Association of Nigeria (for more information check www.ysan.org). The topic of the conference is „Warfare, Ethnicity and Polity in Yorùbáland“, which includes traditional singing and dancing - all in Yorùbá. This is very fascinating to us even if we don’t entirely understand the content. Moreover, the organizers use an interesting way of introducing the most important members of the university for the preservation of Yorùbá culture: first the presenter says an introductory passage and then, while the person is coming up to the stage, there is a little verse that the presenter sings. We are thinking about putting forward a suggestion to introduce our professors in Germany in this manner during official events, as we think that would be more honoring than just enumerating names and titles.We spend the afternoon taking a tour of Ibadan in the company of Paul from the International Office, a security guard and a driver. Frankly speaking, Ibadan is not the most touristic town and there are no typical sights as we have them in Europe. However, we still enjoy the ride through town a lot as well as observing the daily life of the city dwellers. Our first stop is a local market, where we snack on our favorite grilled plantain and some of us buy colorful fabrics from one of the many stalls.  Many Nigerians, even in high positions, dress in traditional clothing tailored out of these fabrics. Afterwards we drive to Shoprite – a big shopping mall, where we have ice-cream and Smoothies, and enjoy the perks of having a well-equipped supermarket. On our way back to the university, we stop in a historic quarter, where some of us buy Cola-nuts. This is an African food that is traditionally served as a welcoming gift by visitors; it has a stimulating effect and also gave rise to the name of a well-known softdrink.

Text: Sandra Hesse, Anna Korneva und Valerie Pobloth
Online gestellt: Alina Grünky
Kontakt zur Online-Redaktion: onlineredaktion@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de

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