Cultural Practices Changing With Time -By Ezih Dominic Chukwudubem

Filed under: Forgotten Dairies,National Issues |

An African woman with a neck ring


In any society, there are certain behaviours, norms, standard of living that is expected to be followed by every member of that society. These guiding principles can be said to be the way of life of the people that are living in that society. It will not be wrong to say that this Way of life of these people is what is known as culture.

Culture is the way of life of people. It is the totality and the defining principle of every society. What differentiates a particular society from another is their culture. Hence, we cannot do without culture. Without culture, we will live in anarchy and pandemonium. More often than not, there has been a great dispute or disagreement between two groups. Some are in support of the view that culture is dynamic, hence, some cultural practices lose their validity with time. While, some hold that culture is not dynamic, hence, no cultural practices lose their validity with time. They state that these practices have been from time immemorial and it cannot be changed by anyone. But one important question we all should ask ourselves is if culture existed before human beings or human beings existed before culture. Various researches have shown that human beings existed before culture and not vice versa. From these, we can infer that any cultural practice promulgated was done in accordance to the standards and time that cultural practice was promulgated. The earlier we realise this, the better we will become enlightened that not all cultural practices can stand all time. With time a particular cultural practice ceases to be valid.

In Nigeria, most cultural practices are no longer valid and they are null. There is need for strict scrutiny of these cultural practices. Though some cultural practices will always stand the test of time but there are some that needs critical scrutiny. For instance, it was believed that the killing of twins was the ideal thing to do, but with the intervention of Mary Slessor this cultural practice has stopped. Various cultural practices have not stand the test of time, because we have come to the realization that culture is not static. Though, there are some cultural practices that needs to be evaluated. Like the belief that the girl child is not important, girls should be inferior to boys, men should not be domesticated, men should not cry when they lose someone, women cannot demand for sex from their spouse. Cultural practices like these and more needs critical evaluation, because they cannot stand the test of time. But for us to attain this progress, we need the following

There should be education at all level, specifically, from the young to the old. This will make them realize that no cultural practice is perfect. Rather cultural practices that are followed and accepted were believed to be the ideal and if they lose their essence they can be changed.

There should be awareness that no cultural practice existed before humans, but all cultural practices were created by human beings. Hence, cultural practices can be changed and no cultural practice is definite and beyond revision. Furthermore, the dogmatic view of various cultural practices should be curtailed and this view should be removed from the mentality of those who hold this opinion.

Let us all realize that culture is not made to restrict human progress but to help us all to live an ideal live in our society. So, it will be pertinent we strive to bring to the awareness of all that culture changes with time and we hope to have cultural practices that will not make us slaves in our society.

Ezih Dominic Chukwudubem a writer [email protected]