Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ndi Anam celebrates Otite 2012 by Oranigbo

How time flies. Otite Anam is here again.
Otite-Anam, is the most well-regarded festival in Anam, Anambra State. Otite also known as IwaJi (New Yam festival) in Igboland is celebrated in August every year. Usually, the date for the celebration in Anam, Anambra West Local Government, Anambra State is fixed by Okpokolo the ruling age grade.

The Okpokolo meet to examine the Igbo lunar calendar so as to ensure that it holds on the first Sunday that falls on the sacred market day of Eke. As we all know Eke is the chief of the four market days in Igboland.  This year, it would be celebrated on Sunday, August 5, 2012. Apparently, Otite as the chief festival in Anam, involves lots of sharing, eating and drinking. It is a time to savour the best of nsala  egusi, and ogbono soups garnished with variety of fresh and dried fishes. The delicacy is to be eaten strictly with pounded yam as cooking any other type of food at this time is like sacrilege. It is a no go area.

This year we met with Rotarian Nnaemeka Chukwuemeka alias HUNTER at his office at the Nigerian Immigration Service, Anambra State Command Headquarters, Awka who has this to say

as the culture it is expected that the women (Umuada) who are married will buy clothes, staff, bracelets, drinks etc to pay homage to their parents, while the male will provide goat or fowl as the case may be to be used to pay homage to both the dad and his in-law (Ikwaje ive ote). The parent on their part prays for their children to be prosperous. 

It is a period in which parents appreciates the joy of parenthood because there will be dancing and calling neighbours to see what their children has done (Igo ive ote). The children little ones will on that day eat and visit close associates for exchange of gifts. It is a one week affair and there are a lot of activities like wrestling competition (Igbangba), dancing exposition (Ipu ive) and masqurade like Nwangwu etc.  

I remember in the 1980's when during the third term break i normally go for holiday at Ojele and a week to Ote(Otite) we would go for fishing expedition with my peers and compete to see who would kill a big fish like ikele(Giant Catfish) or Aja that will be used for the festival after which we go for wrestling match I remember the day i threw my friend and distant relation ‘Eleg Igbago’. That was the first time i won after series of losing streak and was celebrated by my uncles wife. Those are the good old memories and I feel like experiencing such again. ANAM HAS RICH CULTURE LET US REVIVE THEM AGAIN BECAUSE OUR CHILDREN WILL BE MISSING A LOT. GBAKWAMBO KA IKWAJELI NDIBUNU IVE OTE.”

According to him, the people of Anam should not relegate their culture to the background and trade it in for anything whatsoever.  Wherever, Anamites are found on this globe, they should ensure that this festival is well celebrated and let the people of the world know about Anam. It is another way of letting the world to know that the government has not been performing its duties to the people of Anam and Anambra West as a whole.

Elsewhere, in Malaysia, Ndi Anam are organizing their own Otite Festival under the auspices of Chief Obagha Bartholomew alias Abiola. It would be celebrated in Puchong area of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur. Our effort to get the Anamites in India was not successful due to network problems. This year’s celebration would usher in good health, prosperity, long life, and more intense development of the Anam People worldwide. We are appeasing the gods of the land to cleanse the community and restore peace and progress in all the individual communities that make up Anam; also using the opportunity to ask the government to look into the annual flooding that destroys the hard labour of the Anam people due to overflooding of the River Niger and Anambra River respectively.
Apart from Otite, Anam people have other traditional ceremonies, like Ime-oba, Mgba, Mgbaboku, oninu-ozu, ikpa unwu, nzireani etc.

1 comment:

  1. That is culture and tradition. The culture of Anam refers to the Dharma, beliefs,customs, traditions, ceremonies, arts, values and the way of life of Anam and its people.


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