Throughout November we’ve been interviewing blog guests who live in all different parts of the world about the importance of staying connected with your loved ones because we know how vital the power of talk is, it’s one of our top priorities at Talk Home. We also asked all about their favourite home traditions, places to visit and the differences in their home country to where they live now. We’ve chatted with travel-savvy student Einer from Belize, physics teacher and travel lover Brandon from London and Marketing guru Valeriya from Ukraine. For the final week of Talk Home Takeover, we’re chatting with Aliyah who is a Nigerian student and part-time creative living in London. Aliyah made the move from Nigeria to the UK when she was 7 years old, with her Dad and siblings still living in Nigeria we wanted to talk to Aliyah about why it’s so important to stay connected with her loved ones as well as the differences between Nigeria and London.
What is your favourite tradition from Nigeria?
My favourite tradition is called “itoju omo” it is a tradition that occurs after a mother gives birth to her baby, her mother-in-law comes to the home to take care of the new mother and her. The nursing mother is not allowed to do chores or anything as everything is done for her—including bathing the baby, massaging the new mother’s tummy, performing household chores and cooking special meals such as pepper soup. Although I have not experienced this myself yet, I have seen this done for others and how beautiful and helpful it was for them. I love the way this allows the mother and daughter to bond!
Where is another place where you have visited and enjoyed?
When I visited Morocco, I loved it because they have a very welcoming culture with the way they serve and help each other. I thought this was beautiful because as a Nigerian welcoming a guest is important, it is seen as a sign of respect to serve them, cook, and do everything possible to make your guest feel at home! Experiencing a treatment like this in Morocco made me love it even more as it felt like I was at home, I would love to return there in the future for another trip. I’d also recommend visiting Essaouira, it’s a beautiful seaside town in Morocco.
Is there any tradition in the UK you like or take part in?
I like the tradition of the poppy for Remembrance Day as it pays homage to men and women who died during World War One and Two. The level of respect and pride shown for those who gave their lives to fight for their country is really admirable with everyone wearing the poppies and partaking in two minutes silence on the 11th of November every year. Traditions like this make me proud to live in this country.
What do I miss about Nigeria that is different to London?
The main thing I miss is the sense of community at home, it is so much stronger in Nigeria. It almost feels like everybody knows each other, like a big family whereas in London it feels like a lot of the time people are in a big rush and do not take a moment to relax and communicate with each other. I miss having lots of friends who live right next to me who I could visit every day.
Why is important for you to stay connected to your friends and family?
It's so important for me to stay connected to my friends and families at home, I grew up with them, they are blood and will always be a part of me and my life regardless of how apart we live. My family and friends mean everything to me, both my dad and half-sisters still live back home in Nigeria and it’s important for me to stay connected with them. I want to see them grow and be successful, I want them to know they have a sister who loves them even though I’m not there everyday in person being able to stay in touch allows me to do so. The different Nigerian plans which Talk Home offer make it convenient for me to keep in touch without spending a fortune on international calls, as I use a mix of data and minutes I tend to go for Nigeria UK 20!
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