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The number of languages currently estimated and cataloged in Nigeria is This number includes living languages, 2 second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages. The official language of Nigeria, English, was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country post-colonization by the British.

The major native languages spoken in Nigeria represent three major families of African languages - the majority are Niger-Congo languages, such as Yoruba, Ibo, the Hausa language is Afro-Asiatic; and Kanuri, spoken in the northeast, primarily Borno State, is a member of the Nilo-Saharan family. Even though most ethnic groups prefer to communicate in their own languages, English, being the official language, is widely used for education, business transactions and click the following article official purposes.

English as a first language, however, remains an exclusive preserve of a small minority of the country's urban elite, and is not spoken at all in some rural areas. Many religions are followed in Nigeria. The constitution guarantees religious freedom. Christians predominantly live in the south of the country, whereas Muslims live predominantly in the north.

Native religions in which people believe in deities, spirits and ancestor worship, are spread throughout the country. Many Muslims and Christians may also intertwine their beliefs with more unorthodox indigenous ones.


The major Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter are recognized as national holidays. Muslims observe Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and the two Eids. Working hours in the north often vary from those in the south so that Muslims do not work on their holy day, which is Friday. Along with South Africa, Nigeria is considered a super-power in the African continent and consequently Nigerians are generally proud of their country.

It has the largest population in Africa and the land is endowed with vast quantities of natural resources. It is the sixth largest oil-producing nation and has a well-educated and industrious society. They are fond of the expression, "When Nigeria sneezes, the rest of the African nations with the exception of South Africa catch cold.

Extended families are still the norm and are in fact the backbone of the social system. Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and in-laws all work as a unit through life.

Family relationships are guided by hierarchy and seniority. Social standing and recognition is achieved through extended families. Similarly a family's honour is influenced by the actions of its members.

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Individuals turn to members of the extended family for financial aid and guidance, and the family is expected to provide for the welfare of every member. Although the role of the extended family is diminishing somewhat in urban areas, there remains a strong tradition of mutual caring and responsibility among the members.

Nigeria is a hierarchical society. Age and position earns, even demands, respect. Age is believed to confer wisdom so older people are granted respect. The oldest person in a this web page is revered and honoured. In a social situation, they are greeted and served first. In return the most senior person has the responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the group.

Due to the ethnic make-up of the country, communication styles vary. This is especially true when speaking their native language, although many of the same characteristics have been carried into their English language usage.

A Look at Nigerian Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette

The Yoruba often use humour to prevent boredom during long meetings or serious discussions. They believe that embedding humour in their message guarantees that what they say is not readily forgotten. Nigerians living in the south of the country tend to speak more directly.

You may also find their tone slightly louder than elsewhere. They may raise their voices even more and become emotionally excited when they feel passionately about a topic.

At the same time, a harsh tone is considered unwelcoming and even hostile.

50 Plus African-american Dating Rituals In Other Cultures With Forehead

Nigerians prefer facial expressions that imply empathy and believe an indifferent facial expression indicates that a person is ignorant or obnoxious.

Generally speaking, Nigerians are outgoing and friendly. Communication commences with polite inquiries into the welfare of the person and his family. Such social niceties go a long way since. Nigerian communication can also be indirect and may rely on non-verbal cues. Many use gestures when communicating.

They may smile to mask their true feelings, especially when disappointed or confused. Many 50 Plus African-american Dating Rituals In Other Cultures With Forehead indirect eye contact 50 Plus African-american Dating Rituals In Other Cultures With Forehead demonstrate their respect for the other person. It is common to gaze at the forehead or shoulders of someone they do not know well.

Very direct eye contact may be interpreted as being intrusive unless there is a longstanding personal relationship. At the same time, there are some Nigerians who are extremely direct communicators and have no difficulty stating what is on their minds. Therefore, it is a good idea to observe the situation carefully before determining what behaviour is appropriate. In general, Nigerians start with the general idea and slowly move into the specific, often using a somewhat circuitous route. Their logic is often contextual.

They look for the rationale behind behaviour and attempt link understand the context.

They tend to examine behaviour in its total context, not merely what they have observed. Nigerians prefer to develop personal relationships prior to conducting business. Therefore, if this is the first time you are meeting with a Nigerian company, you should expect to devote a decent period of time to getting to know people on a personal level. This may take as long as two hours for an initial meeting.

Any attempt to bypass this protocol will hamper your business success. Expect the first few meetings to be somewhat formal as your Nigerian counterparts continue to become comfortable with you as a person. It is a good idea to maintain a polite and somewhat reserved manner until the person you are meeting drops some of his formality.

Try to avoid using hyperbole or making exaggerated claims when presenting a business case as Nigerians are naturally suspicious of a deal that sounds too good to be true. Team members should present a united front at meetings. Any disagreement between members will be interpreted as meaning that you are not relaying the entire story and that they should proceed cautiously. If you plan click here work from an agenda, it is a good idea to send it in advance of the meeting.

Nigerians will generally follow the agenda point by point and may want to consult with key stakeholders who will not be present prior to the meeting. How do we know all of this information? We are experts in Nigerian cultural awareness training courses! The page document has been authored by one of our Nigeria country specialists and provides readers with much more detail that our free guide above.

But the fact that she just glosses this over says a lot to me about her character and commitment, i. Black, White, Green, or shapes between…Who cares?? Wars have also forced progress on equal rights for women and racial minorities, as these groups proved their till-then unrealized potential either in industry while men were off fighting, or by serving in the military honorably and effectively.

Order via the button below to receive your Nigeria Insight in seconds or read more before buying. Are you a Culture Vulture? Sign-up to our monthly newsletter. Search our blogs, articles, manuals and free downloads to discover something new. Home Country Guides Nigeria Guide. National Pride Along with South Africa, Nigeria is considered a super-power in the African continent and consequently Nigerians are generally proud of their country. Hierarchy Nigeria is a hierarchical society. Smiling and showing sincere pleasure at meeting the person is important.

As in the rest of Africa, it is rude to rush the greeting process. Close friends and family members often click here and hug when meeting. A Nigerian generally waits for the woman to extend her hand. Observant Muslims will not generally shake hands with members of the opposite sex. Address people initially by their academic, professional or honorific title and their surname.

50 Plus African-american Dating Rituals In Other Cultures With Forehead

Friends may address each other in a variety of ways: When greeting someone who is obviously much older, it is a sign of respect and deference to bow the head. A gift for the children is always a nice touch. Gifts should be given using the right hand only or both hands.

Never use the left hand only. At Ramadan, it is customary for Muslims to give gifts of food and fruit. Gifts should be wrapped, although there are no cultural taboos concerning paper colour. Gifts are not always opened when received. Wait for a woman to extend her hand first.

Shake hands at the beginning and end of meetings. It is a good idea to lower your eyes when meeting someone who is older or more senior. Use the honorific title plus any academic or professional title and the surname. Wait until invited before moving to a first-name basis. This is not a first name culture, although that may be changing with people under the age of Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual.

Present and receive business cards with two hands or the right hand, never with the left. It is a good idea to include any advanced university degree on your business card.