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Up on the road: online Diary Nigeria – October, 11th 2017

Photo: Isabel Dückert/Valerie Pobloth.

Photo: Isabel Dückert/Valerie Pobloth.

October, 11th – Ibadan

Today we meet the students of the Linguistics Department and we are really looking forward to mingling with our colleagues! During the meeting, we touch upon various topics: from cultism (student gangs) and Christianity to multilingualism as well as the research fields of our bachelor and master theses. The Nigerians know their traditions, love them, preserve them and are very proud of them. Therefore, they eagerly tell us all about their religion. The Yorùbá people worship one superior god, called Olodumare, and several deities known as Orishas who represent different aspects of nature and daily life. It is also quite fascinating for us to hear that traditional religions co-exist peacefully with monotheistic religions like Christianity or Islam. Even that some people practice both at the same time.
After the meeting with the students, we head to the staff of the European Studies Department. Because we are language students ourselves, we want to offer the students there the opportunity to talk to Russian and German native speakers like ourselves. When talking to the head of department, we encounter someone who lived and studied in Berlin for 10 years and also happens to be a former student of Prof. Dr. Wolf. He leaves us with the warm comment: „They are from my town. They are my people.“ Afterwards, we make a stop at the institute of African Studies, where we meet the director and get a lot of information about African art.
We spend the rest of the day in smaller groups: while some hold interviews with students, the others walk to the botanical garden located on campus. We are in the company of five students from the Russian department, who give each of us Yorùbá names. In Yorùbá all names have a direct meaning and a person can have up to seven unofficial names. We are quite impressed how well these names seem to fit our personalities, even though the students only met us a couple of minutes ago. Example The botanical garden is located on 70 acres north of the campus and serves the purpose of a conservation program for endangered plants. We only have a little stroll through the garden, after which we enjoy some of the locally produced palm wine together.
Full of impressions, we dance the night away together with our professor and members of the Yorùbá Association conference in the university's Staff Club. We listen to Yorùbá music and watch traditional dancers perform while eating typical Nigerian food, such as plantain, yam, fried rice, cow´s skin, cassava and fried fish in a spicy sauce.

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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