Tomorrow is Halloween, and every year, I have the same conversation with myself: what is Halloween? And will I ever celebrate it? I’ve been living in America for most of my life, and I am yet to celebrate Halloween. However, I’m used to it. I know what day it is, and I am used to the pumpkins and the aisles of candy and the orange rights and the scary costumes. It’s America, so I know what to expect.
But what is going on with Nigeria these days? I’m talking about the Nigerians in Nigeria. Why are they celebrating Halloween? Also related: why are Nigerians having Black Friday sales??? What is going on?
As I get older, I become more and more aware of how much of the western culture we appropriate in Nigeria. And it sucks because it’s rarely ever the good things. We don’t copy their political order, or their attempt at fairness, or their government’s efficiency. No, we go for the Halloween celebrations and everything else that does not concern us.
While having this conversation with Igwe, he brought up a fascinating point, which is that while the Nigerians who celebrate Halloween are happy to do so even when they don’t know what the heck they’re celebrating, the same people would be unlikely to dance with masquerades or go to an event that celebrates something “traditional” about Nigeria — because you know, that would be demonic and diabolical. But if it’s coming from Obodo Oyibo, then it must be the good kind of demonic.
I wrote about Halloween four years ago, and in that post, I questioned the origin of the celebration and the current meaning of the celebration. There are many theories out there about the origin of Halloween and its present-day meaning, and I am still torn about it. Well, I have no intention of celebrating it, but what do I do when Ada Verastic starts going to school? I’m hoping I can find a middle ground that works for me.
If you’re a Nigerian in Nigeria, I’m really curious about what you celebrate when you celebrate Halloween?