Due to the absence of a United Nations’ recognition, or of a guinness’ world record, this notion stands to be challenged. Yoruba nation has the richest culture in the world; talk of norms, customs, religion and every aspect of culture, the Yoruba nation stands out among others.
Each nation may however lay claim to ethnocentrism, that is, the superiority of one’s culture to another’s, yet none can boast of a robust greeting culture but the Yoruba. Even the purportedly great culture of the English has no chance when it locks horns with the Yorubas. An English child can conveniently shake hands with his father in abundant courtesy without reparation or a notice of fault in his action. At this juncture, I need to remind you that if hand-shaking between a ‘subordinate’ and a ‘master’ was appropriate, Jesus would have shook hands with those that called him master. Also, since Adam had fellowship with God in the garden of Eden, it would not have been bad if Adam, instead of bowing, had had his hands extended to God. And perhaps, the bibilical Egyptians would have seen no bad in not bowing before Pharaoh. It is a colossus taboo for a Yoruba child to extend a handshake invitation to his father. Even as civilisation is exerting its influence on the Yoruba culture, a Yoruba child born of ‘Yoruba’ parents will either prostrate fully or kiss the floor with the kneel caps while greeting not just his parents but also teachers and elders whose societal guidance will never lead him astray.
Despite the non-existence of religious kerfuffle in the Yoruba nation, no culture of the world can boast of more colourful indigenous religious practices. Is it the egungun (masquerade) festival? Even a professor of theology will be enthralled honouring the festival. Just so you know, revealing an event is not as witnessing it. I am revealing the beauty of Egungun festival which I believe may not suffice. Witnessing it yourself will remove all doubts, doubts about the Yoruba culture not being as rich as I am describing. The Yorubas do not only flaunt the Egungun festival, they also have the ‘Osun’ festival, a worship of the river goddess; the ‘orin Ijala’, rendering of the ‘Ogun’ (god of iron) panegyrics; the ‘odun Ifa’, where encomiums are showered on ‘Orunmila’, the god of divination etc. Take my word for this, should the British Queen honour one of those festivals, she would work her eyes out to ensure it is inculcated into the British ways of life. Perhaps, if it had been the other way round; if it was the black nation that colonised the whites, the cultural option they(whites) would have opted for would be the Yorubas’.
The norms and mores of the Yoruba nation are unparalleled. If today, a global contest for cultural richness is organised, the Yoruba nation should be exempted from the competition, otherwise, the Yorubas will conveniently coast home all accolades. Narrowing down my earlier presumption of the black nation colonising the whites, had the Yoruba nation been the sole colonial master of the world, there would virtually be no gayism, lesbianism, promiscuity, philandering, robbery, corruption and other modern-complementary vices. Hitherto the advent of civilisation, no Yoruba man dared occupy a seat vacated by another man’s wife. If this could be forbidden and its transgression met with grievous reparation, the punishment that would be slammed on a philanderer can only be best imagined. While same sex relationship reigns among the modern colonial masters, not even a scene of homosexuality was recorded in the Yoruba folklores. If it was forbidden among animals, it was just in non-existence among the humans.
There is no gainsaying, a vivid research is not too herculean to undertake for doubters: an essential part of Yoruba cultural heritage which her people is proud of is utmost honesty. During the Yoruba world of no western interference, one could place one’s article of sales by roadside with attached price tags. I tell you, passers-by cum buyers picked up article of their choices and dropped the monetary worth. All the ‘supplier’ needed to do was to come at a later hour to pack her revenue. Such is the untainted mores of the Yorubas.
If a bamboo tree could be made into pen and ocean could be conjured to paper, they would still not suffice to write of the richness of the Yoruba culture. Based on conventions and interactions, it is safe to say that the Yoruba nation has the richest culture in the world.