When we say, I am Nigerian or I come from Nigeria we are actually saying 2 things:
1. Firstly, I come from the the country called Nigeria, with its borders and government and citizens; and
2. Secondly, I am part of a nation, a group of people with a shared language, culture or history, who call themselves Nigerian.
You can see that every time you call yourself Nigerian, you are talking about a place and a group of people, and it makes a lot of sense to know as much as you can about this place and these people you are describing yourself with.
WHY DO WE NEED TO LEARN ABOUT NIGERIA?
Nigeria wasn't always a free country.
Many years ago, many people like you, who considered themselves Nigerian struggled and fought for Nigeria to be free.
You see many countries, particularly in Africa, like Nigeria and others in Asia were ruled by foreign countries in Europe, such as Britain and France. This was a bad thing for the countries that were being ruled and it was called colonialism.
On October 1st 1960, Nigeria's First Independence Day, Nigeria became free of colonialism. Every October 1st, we celebrate Nigeria's independence and our pride in and loyalty towards Nigeria.
Patriotism means being proud of a country and loyal towards it. Celebrating independence day is one way of showing our patriotism, but we can do that every day by respecting Nigeria's values, laws and national symbols.
OUR NATION BEGINS
OUR NATIONAL SYMBOLS
What are National Symbols? They are a special sign chosen to identify a country and her people.
The Nigerian Flag, the national Coat of Arms, the national anthem and the national pledge all represent Nigeria and Nigerians.
Understanding what our national symbols stand for tells us a little bit about what the earliest Nigerians, including those present at the First Independence Day wanted to celebrate about a newly free Nigeria.
TIME TO THINK
Why was colonialism bad and why did Nigerians want independence?
Have you ever seen a Nigerian national symbol? Where was it and why was it there?