Nigeria, an African country on the Gulf of Guinea, is known for its natural landmarks. One of its most recognizable sites is Zuma Rock, a 725m-tall monolith outside the capital of Abuja that’s pictured on the national currency. Abuja, the country’s capital and the most developed city in Nigeria. Safari destinations such as Cross River National Park and Yankari National Park showcase waterfalls, dense rainforest, savanna and rare primate habitats.
Indians came to Nigeria long ago on various missions. India established a diplomatic mission in Nigeria in 1958, even before Nigeria became independent in 1960. The former capital Lagos has a huge and thriving Indian community, which hosts many Indian functions. One does not feel they are staying outside of India. The warmth and respect shown by the locals made Nigeria as home for thousands of Indians. The Indian community in Nigeria is estimated to be around 50,000. There is a CBSE affiliated Indian Language School in Lagos with 2,500 students. There are two temples in Lagos and a number of cultural and ethnic associations, most prominent of which is Indian Cultural Association. Regarding individual freedom of movement, one is too dependent on cars and drivers; one cannot walk freely, as we do in our own country. Indian expats first arriving will most likely have their senses overwhelmed by the chaos, noise and traffic, but over the time takes the relevant precautions, brush up on the dos and don’ts of the different areas. The cost of living in major cities are sky-high, however most companies provide fully furnished accommodation and company maintained car plus driver. Indian films are popular in Kano, Kaduna and other Northern States and local channels regularly telecast Indian films.
Abuja is a relatively safe city for Indian community. It has a Hindu temple, shopping malls, cinemas, nightclubs and more naturally splendid areas like Gurara Falls, Usman dam, National Children’s Park and Zoo. Other attraction in Abuja is art and craft Village. This exhibits various works, paintings of arts and crafts show casing Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage. I was surprised to see such a wonderful place for art lovers. Many Indians visits these craft village for their antique choices.
The much anticipated first ever “The Festival of India-Lagos” is thrilling Indian community in Lagos. Festival of India is established to promote stronger communication, unity, and understanding among people of Indian origin living in Nigeria. The Festival of India aims to enhance awareness of the rich heritage, culture and traditions of India to bridge cultures, generations and communities of Nigeria. The festivals begin with a vibrant parade in which three giant chariots are hand-pulled by thousands of participants amidst singing, drumming, and dancing, where the festival will be continued for three days. People no longer needed to travel to India to experience its breathtaking beauty, spirituality, sights, and sounds; they could visit the festival grounds to enjoy India in Nigeria! Visitors are encouraged to participate and enjoy the rich cultures and diversities of both Indian and Nigerian culture.
It’s a celebration time for India and Nigeria!