Reminiscing Childhood Xmas Celebration In The Village

Who Knows What 2018 has off Its Sleeves. Let's Just Enjoy The Moment For Now.

Secondary School Throwback.

Surulere, Lagos in the 60s.

Family Portrait In Port Harcourt when Regular Sunday Lunch at Hotel Presidential Was The Highlight Of The Week. I can still remember in 1972 my 1st taste of American hamburger and Punch drink while watching Sunday Matinee. No amount of RICE & STEW at home could beat that! I also remember the romantic scenes when actors kissed .....my dad uncomfortable facial expressions! What did he expect ....the usual reaction kids pretence with stoned faces. And Port Harcourt Club For A bite Of Ice Cream.

Compare To My Childhood I don't Really Feel Christmassy.

Growing up in Lagos, Enugu and Port Harcourt, Xmas was a real Big Deal! The yearly trip to the village to celebrate Xmas with extended family members was huge and significant. A chapter in Chimamanda Adichie's Half Of A Yellow Moon resonates a typical scenario with our relatives lined up waiting eagerly to welcome us with array of food served in my grandfather's living room with Chinese communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong 's portrait in the background!

My paternal grandfather was a self proclaimed communist leader in the village with photos of this chinese man everywhere in his house!!! My grandfather's nickname eyen obong kusen innanayin literally means he who seek God only when he is desperate. Eyenobong was charismatic and flamboyant straight talking no nonsense character!             

On arrival being the oldest child I knew almost everyone and instantly adjusted  while my siblings looked somehow overwhelmed with all the attention. Then the house party that followed late in the evening and more food on Xmas eve. It was also time for me to plan to catch up with my friends and show off my latest dance moves, Marks & Spencers clothes my dad bought while on study leave in the UK. Clarks and BATA shoes from Kingsway stores, Bhojsons and UTC, Marina Road, Lagos (all of which have defunct with Lagos urban regeneration).

Xmas day was the epic that started with church service at the Methodist church followed by what can simply be described as a carnival and jubilation, unannounced door to door visits everyone in their best attires. A total contrast with Xmas in the Western World where everywhere is quiet celebrated behind closed doors.

Hey! I love British fundamental value for privacy, peace and quiet and reconnection with families food and drink to mark a significant day in the year and a new beginning. Indeed, I am embracing my new culture in the West in more ways than ever, proud of my African heritage whilst adjusting to my British culture that has now shaped the person I am today!  

Merry Xmas Everyone          Heart

 

Copyright 2017 @ Akon Margaret Kalu All Rights Reserved