A UNIV 322 Cross Cultural Look at:
Fast Facts!
This is an informative website where you can read some facts about Nigerian culture and testimonials from Nigerians at Rice.
upper right: Nigerian Flag
right: Nigeria in relation to countries in Africa.
Location: Western Africa, between Benin and Cameroon
Population: 123,337,8222
Ethnic groups: Contains more than 250 ethnic groups consisting of Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, and Tiv
Religions: Muslims 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%
Population below the poverty line: 34.1%
Government: Republic, transitioning from military to civilian rule.
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Maricela Alarcon
Eddie Leza
Student Questions and Answers
Preliminary Impressions
   There are many impressions that come to mind about Nigeria, however; we can almost be assured that they are based on pure fiction or the media's  portrayal of Africans.  For example, one may believe that the language spoken in Nigeria would be some exotic language such as Swahili.  Male dominance may very well be a valid assumption. 
     In the family structure, one can expect to find a traditional practice of rituals and involvement of extended family members.  In addition, it can be inferred from the situation in South Africa, there would be great economic disparities along racial lines leaving a white minority in positions of wealth and power while the black majority would suffer the low socioeconomic status of poverty.
     In movies and other forms of media, there are implications of Africa being in constant turmoil of war and hostility.  There are images of military Jeeps and guards that are intimidating figures with assault weapons and unpleasant personalities.
NOTE:  Two student were interviewed for this study.  They shall be referred to as S1 and S2 for reference.
What language(s) do you speak in Nigeria and how does it reflect cultural values of Nigerians?
S1)  "English....because Nigeria was colonized by the British."
S2)  "Igbo.  Language is important because so many are spokent...the one language that holds everyone together is English or Pidgin English."
What are the gender roles in your culture?
S1)  "There is much male dominance but it is more accepted that it is here in the U.S."
S2)  "I believe that the Nigerian society...is still a male dominated society.  The men rule the home."
What is the health status of Nigerians and how is health care taken care of?
S1)  "Privately or by the company you work for.  Government doesn't help with health issues."
S2)  "...I do know that AIDS has become a problem that has to be delt with."
Can you describe the family structure?
S1)  "Family structure is more like Hispanic.  "We believe in the extended family..."
S2)  "It resembles...Hispanic, Asian, etc where there is more emphasis on the extended family."
What are some customs that Nigeria posseses?
S1)  "...parent's blessing is still required in order for weddings to take place."
S2)  "...polygamy is practiced.  it is not as common because of the economic situations."
How are foreigners seen by your country?
S1)  "Americans are not seen as the enemy like the British...So Nigerians tend to be very friendly to Americans"
S2)  "I believe that people, in general, are friendly toward foreigners."
Related Links:
The World Factbook 2000: Nigeria
Nigeria and the Igbo Culture
Map of Nigeria
Rice Center for the Study of Languages