National Identity means the things that citizens of a country have in common. Those things are valued the same anywhere on goes within and outside the country. National identity is an essential element for which a country is known or identified. Concrete objects and symbols such as the National Flag, Coat of Arm, National Anthem, People, etc. symbolized the feeling of togetherness and sameness.
National symbols are necessary and important for many reasons chiefly due to the roles they perform. These include:-
- Promote sense of patriotism and respect for the nation
- Encourage nationals to work hard, be dedicated and offer selfless service to their country
- Foster unity among nationals of the country.
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES OF VARIOUS ASPECTS OF CULTURE IN NIGERIA
Culture includes knowledge, belief, arts, morals, law, customs and another habits acquired by man as member of a Society.
Culture therefore is the total way of life of a people. Nigeria has a rich cultural heritage with about 250 ethnic groups having different cultures.
People in the riverine areas are predominantly fishermen by occupation. People in this area had early contact with the Europeans through the sea. This means that trading with Europeans got its firm footing before any other part of the country.
Religiously, all the tribes in Nigeria have their traditional religion which is African oriented. The work is perfected by saying incantations in which messages are relayed to the next world either to dead ancestors or even to God almighty through the sea, sun, trees, shrines, thunder, etc.
In the hinterland, people are more pronounced with farm work starting from the type of crops grown. People in the far North had early contact with the Arabs. This has diffused their original culture especially in reference to religion as they are all Muslim.
The difference in our various aspects of culture are also manifested in the different types of food eaten, mode of religious worship, patterns of dressing, occupations, morals, etc. In terms of food; among the Igbos “Akpu” is very popular, Garri or eba is equally popular among the people in the west, etc.
- All or 99 percent of Africans are all blacks
- There are similar cultural traits of fraternity and generosity.
- Nigerians everywhere exhibit the custom of being there brother’s keeper
- Africans have similar religious worship of Africa traditional type
- All Nigerians are traditionally agriculture by occupation
THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN NATIONAL INTEGRATION
- Cultural understanding has helped us to know about the cultures of other tribes and has come to a conclusion that no culture is bad.
- It has made us to come together with different origin and language to have a uniform identity
- It has enabled us to break through the delusions and cultural defense mechanisms of our nation.