I am from Abatete, a town in Anambra State, Nigeria, very close to the commercial city of Onitsha. Like most Igbo communities, we have a rich cultural heritage and my father ensures we stay in touch with our roots, so much that it is an established family tradition to spend Christmas in our hometown.
Having been raised in Jos, Plateau State, when I was younger, Christmas was a time when my dad would gather his children and we would take a road trip to our hometown. The week before was usually very hectic as my mother would go shopping in preparation for our trip. It was always an exciting reunion with close relatives as well as extended family members. We had lots of happy conversations and got clarity on who was who on the family tree. As a teenager, it was work and more work for me, running errands, unending cooking and I somehow lost the excitement in all of it.
In December 2015, I decided to go back to Abatete to recreate my fun childhood memories. This time it was totally different from what I remember (now I have younger sisters and cousins to dish out orders to…Lol) starting from drinking fresh palm wine, visiting cousins, attending traditional weddings, happy family gatherings and reunion, feet buried in red sand, walking through bushes, dust and dry leaves stuck in the hair, the cross-over night prayers and parties where everyone was present. It was an amazing experience.
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