THE BABY-SHOWER TRADITION
The event of 'baby-shower' as popularly called in the western world especially the United States of America, is actually a strange tradition in Africa (some parts of South Eastern Nigeria to be precise). In a typical Ibo community, there is no overt celebration or preparation for an expected child. The preparations are quietly made while the celebrations are reserved until the expectant mother safely delivers. By that attitude, people especially the expectant mother and her spouse and/or relatives are spared the emotional disappointment and torment that may occur where the expectant mother delivers a still-born baby or perhaps dies in the process of child bearing.
However, in the United States of America, people are rather excited and friends even go out to organize a baby-shower event whereby the expectant mother is showered with gifts that are supposed to assist her in taking care of the child when (if) safely delivered. Modern technology has added another factor to the situation. People can now know the sex of their baby(ies) even before delivery, so they prepare for the gender of the child as well.
Africans in Diaspora usually go out of their way to accommodate strange cultures in their bid to adjust and survive in a strange or foreign land. The 'baby-shower tradition is one of such foreign traditions and Africans would not complain. Basically, baby-showers have turned into a flourishing event. Furthermore it now serves as another opportunity for them to garb their African dresses and show their sense of culture and ability to tolerate and adapt once again.
Recently in New York, courtesy of Chief (Mrs.) Rose Iwuagwu, Mr. Julius Nwosu and wife Peggy Nwosu invited friends and relatives to a baby-shower evening for Mrs. Peggy Nwosu. The women turned out massively in their lovely African wear, while the men were there to offer their support (a new trend).