<< back to user content in Nigeria
How to Enjoy Eating Amala and Abula
Submitted by: gorgeousmercy
Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria
Growing up was fun because of the people I shared my childhood with. My parents are both natives of Ibadan, so we eat Amala and Abula a lot in my family since they are from the same origin. I don't believe in placing other people's culture above mine, I love my heritage and my culture is my heritage. I am open to new ideas and new cultures, and I respect other people's culture, but no matter how enticing their cultures may be, I place mine as number one.
If you want to enjoy eating Amala and Abula, you eat the food with your hand, this is where some people don't want to agree. It is not in our culture to eat Amala and Abula with a fork or spoon (except sometimes in parties and special occasions, you can eat your Amala and Abula with a spoon).
I remember when I was still in university, there was a restaurant behind the formal intercontinental bank, and any time I went to the bank for withdrawal the next thing I do is go to the restaurant. On a particular day, some boys (students like me) entered the restaurant and they started forming "big boys"--they ordered what they wanted and requested a fork and knife, and in my mind I was like, Big boys indeed. One of them was served a "roundabout" (cow's intestine), a very big one, the weaved type, and he was really struggling to cut the roundabout but to no avail. At last he swallowed his pride, washed his hands and picked up the meat. I couldn't help bursting into laughter. See, big boy, I said to myself. He left with his friends hurriedly. I sat there, took my time and I enjoyed my Amala and Abula. I would have told him if he waited that next time you are outside, if you know you want to form "big boy" and you don't want to eat with your hands, place an order for rice.
Honestly, I see nothing wrong in eating with your washed hands because we eat fruits, bread, small chops, biscuits, etc., with our hands. When I got back to the hostel, I had to tell my roommates what I saw, and they also laughed. Really, maybe they wouldn't have requested a fork if I wasn't in that restaurant--they wanted to impress the lady sitting opposite to them (me)--and at the end, I wasn't impressed. So funny.