Monday, February 25, 2008

Wendy and Gabe at a Naming Ceremony

Wendy and I had a wonderful experience the other day that I thought would be fun to share with all of you. Two close friends of ours had a baby just a couple of weeks ago, and they named him Campbell. Jared and Sade, each of whom attended law school with me at some point (though not the same law school) invited us to take part in an important event in the life of their families. Sade's father is from Nigeria, and it is customary when a new baby is born in their family to have a naming ceremony. Wendy and I were lucky enough to be invited to this special occasion.

As you can see, several of the people at the ceremony were dressed in traditional Nigerian clothes. Both Jared (pictured above) and Sade's families were there. Though we have met Jared's family on a couple previous occasions, we were finally able to get to know Sade's family as well. The ceremony was conducted in Yoruba, a language spoken primarily in Western Nigeria. Fortunately, the professor who conducted the ceremony did a great job of explaining what he was doing beforehand in English, because my Yoruba is a little rusty. :)

At the end, we all got the opportunity to participate in the ceremony by bringing a name for Campbell. Each person who brought a name stood up and told everyone what the name was, and what it meant, why they chose it, etc. It was an amazing experience to see so many people united together, some family and some friends, to celebrate a new life in the world. Though I am not sure whether it was a religious ceremony per se, it was a very spiritual experience, and Wendy and I were both deeply moved.

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