Saturday, October 23, 2010
Baby Presentation in Niger
What makes a baby naming ceremony different between the Muslim culture and Christian culture? That was the question I was asked today when I returned from the ceremony.
Let me tell you the similarities because we have a lot of similarities. The whole community turns out! Everyone brings a gift to give to the mom (and maybe for the father but I'm not sure!). Men sit separately from the women, the mom and baby are in a separate bedroom where they receive visitors!
When it is time for everything to start the mom and baby meet the dad out front (they don't do this in the Muslim culture, the moms stays apart)and they sit in some very important looking chairs! There is a prayer and a message usually evangelistic.
This is different in the Muslim culture because a goat or sheep is slaughtered and the baby's name is pronounced. Before this a bit of hair or all it's hair is shaved off. They did not do that at this presentation!
Then there is food! Lots of food! Popcorn! Sandwiches! Cola nuts and dates are passed around as people are being seated. Today's ceremony was only done in Hausa but I guess most everyone there speaks Hausa so those of us who didn't know Hausa, didn't really need to know what was being said. I just enjoyed being with friends and seeing some friends I had not seen in a long time.
Afterwards I put my running shoes back on and away we went to have pancakes back home!