Thursday, August 25, 2011

Growing up in Nigeria: Candlelight Dinner.

Growing up in Nigeria is going to be a regular feature on this blog on certain experiences that almost everyone who grew up or is growing up in Nigeria can identify with.

Candlelight dinner like we understand from the foreign novels and movies is a glorified, self-inflicted power outage in which the lighting is limited to candles, usually intended to be romantic, during which two individuals stare across an elaborately decorated table at one another and giggle while exchanging flirtatious clich├ęs and expensive alcoholic beverages may be consumed as well as a light, fancy meal. Lowering the lighting in this manner helps to make the atmosphere more relaxed, and is reminiscent of simpler times before the electric light was available.

 This is obviously not an everyday experience.

But in Nigeria, it’s totally different!
We do it almost every day like six days in a week. This is not necessarily because we are so rich that we can afford candlelight dinner every day, in fact it’s the middle class and below that do it the most.
Now is it romantic? Well, we do not see it as being romantic because we do it all the time. While others plan and schedule theirs, we have ours in an anticipated manner.
Why?  We don’t have a choice. 
Why don't we have a choice?
Because blackout (loss of electric power supply) is (or was) a normal thing, so we just light our candles as the day darkens, prepare dinner and have dinner with our candle lights!

If you are a Nigerian and have at one time or the other had this kind of candle light dinner say "aye", if you have never, say "nay".

For all the nights we had an undesirable candlelight dinner, we say thank you PHCN (a.k.a. NEPA)!

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