Tunde, I guess you prostrate 100 times in a day as it goes along with your culture, but it can‘t be same with me because it’s not so where I come from.
You are right! The difference between you and I is what is called diversity.
I can help you there. Diversity is recognizing the differences in each of us.
If that is diversity, then Nigerians are highly diverse people.
Can you identify areas where we differ?
Areas like our languages, religions, dress codes and ideas about sexuality.
We also differ in occupation, politics, distribution of resources, marriage and burial custom, music, dance and beliefs.
Differences like those that made my parents to stop my sister’s marriage to an Igbo man.
Your parents were doing what we call “discriminating.”
Discrimination means treating a person or group of persons differently from others, because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or other status, it usually involves depriving them of rights and power.
Can you name some other things that can lead to discrimination?
Sure: sexual orientation, appearance, family structure, religious beliefs, academic status and disability.
I agree with you because if my sister’s fiancé were a Hausa man my parents would not have objected.
That must have been hard for your sister. She should have been more assertive, though, and stood up to your parents.
I thought so too. She could have gone to our family members, like our aunts and uncles, and tried to get them to speak to our parents. Or she could have asked our Imam to help her out.
There are many ways people discriminate against others because they are different:
Other ways of people can be discriminated against include: being laughed at, ignored, generally not supported, exposed, rejected, or made to feel inferior.
These are all terrible. But discrimination can be worse than that – it can cause people to lose their rights and privileges in our society.
All this talk brings to my mind what happened to my friend Imaobong.
What happened to her?
She had polio as a child, last month she was denied admission into a secondary school, just because she’s physically disabled!
That’s awful! That school is definitely discriminating against her.
But what can she do?
She can report the school to the ministry of education, for one thing.
How to report discrimination: • Talk to a lawyer or a human rights organization • Report to the police or the government • Talk to your parents or teachers for advice
It’s important to talk to someone whenever you see discrimination happening, because it carries very dire consequences People who are discriminated against may:
• Develop a low self esteem and even feel helpless • Develop physical and emotional problems
• Lack initiative and creativity • Be looked at with suspicion
• React with anger and commit crimes or violence against others • Be harmful to the society • Have no sense of self respect or personal safety • Have unequal opportunities of maximizing their abilities
If I’d thought about this earlier, I might have been able to make my parents see things differently and then maybe my sister would have married the Igbo man she loved.
That would have been standing up against discrimination
When we stand against discrimination, we are recognizing and accepting our individual differences.
When we recognize these differences, we bring in creativity and excitement into our daily lives. Accepting differences promotes proper understanding and co-operation between individuals.
The beauty of a community lies in her diversity. What can people do to ensure that we appreciate this diversity?
Factors that promote better human relationships: • Learn more about other cultures • Show kindness to all people
• Share belongings with others • Provide equal opportunities
• Engage in games and sports • Be tolerant
Though we are many, we can still be one. Diversity in cultures helps people to learn from each other!
Like the saying goes, “variety is the spice of life!”
See you at the next lesson. Bye!
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