Cultural Relativity: the Root Cause of Conflict in Nigeria

Topics: Culture, Religion, Morality Pages: 4 (1428 words) Published: November 14, 2012
Nigeria is a multicultural nation with over 250 ethnic groups. Human beings are product of culture. Culture has made people what they are. Culture is the totality of experience of people in a given environment. Culture is complex whole of the people- this complex whole includes the beliefs, habits, modes and attitude of people. Culture is the result of interaction of people in a particular environment and the interpretation of their experiences. This is epitomized in the classical ethnic groups in Nigeria Ibo, Hausa, and Yoruba. Their environments and their experiences in them markedly made them different set of people. No wonder Marquet viewed culture as “the totality of knowledge and behaviour, ideas and objects that constitute the common heritage of people.” It is common living experience shared by particular group of people. So, the inter-relationship between peoples’ experience in a certain environment and their interpretation of these experiences is the mother of cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is the notion that societies create their own traditions, pass them along from one generation to another, and continually reinforce them through rewards and punishments. Man’s cultural quest is made manifest in his arts, economic, political, social and religious activities, as well as his ethical development. Man always engage himself in variegated activities of building in order to restore what he either has lost or finds lacking in his fundamental constitution. This is made manifest in recent crisis in some Northern States accruing from their ‘unforeseen’ result of the presidential election. The result of the election is far beyond what they thought it will be. Sequel to this, they decided to indulge in different violent acts so as to restore what they inchoately thought that belong to them. As a result of cultural differences, the value system of every culture is unique. Cultural relativism is...
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