For those unfamiliar with Nigerian parlance, the title has no relation with prison, its inhabitants or crimes of any sort. The only crimes associated with it are those commensurate with having a good time, friends and other things for which parties are known. Now that we’ve cleared the air let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what it means to party!
For the fun of it I decided to look up the word party in a dictionary and got the following definition, ‘social gathering to which people are invited in order to enjoy themselves and often celebrate something.’ I chuckle at this, especially the first part because if you take a quick look around during one you’ll actually wonder if people are really doing that. Anyway, I’m jumping the gun and beg your pardon for it.
There’s usually cause for celebration from funerals, to naming ceremonies, traditional and white weddings, house warming, birthdays and much more occur daily. The occasion also warrants either a small, medium or large party to mark what goes with it. As we all know these socials are no longer restricted to the weekend alone and could fall on a week day. This hasn’t reduced the number of people in attendance and the most amazing part is that you could easily forget that part!
For those that are familiar with the scene its par for the course and for those that aren’t it’s a lesson in stamina! From those that make a quick dash from the office ‘to show face’ at a funeral reception, naming, wedding or the like. There are others that ‘stop on their way home’ and those that may be on vacation, entrepreneurs and other categories that join in the celebrations.
The most intriguing part (for me) is that for some it’s a regular thing. This doesn’t just consist in sitting down and making small talk for a few minutes…it could stretch into hours! So people that have put in twelve hour work-days wind up spending another four hours (or so) at an occasion where they went to say howdy. Let’s say that this scenario starts on Thursday and continues all through the weekend. That means that three days of celebrations, successfully coupled with the normal schedules these individuals already have. If energy isn’t needed for this then I don’t know what is!
We mustn’t forget that people are social and it means that conversation will take place and those that like music will inevitably shake a leg as well. Thus, the brain and body are inevitably at work and so need fuel to keep functional. The variety of food available at such spreads range from the normal rice and solids, to small chops, asun and the like. Drinks from the soft non- alcoholic to the hard stuff not recommended for small boys also makes the rounds.
Various expressions abound on both male and female at these occasions, there are those that look incredibly bored, indifferent, out-of-it and slightly pained, to the lively, chatty, bubbly and totally-in-the-moment facades. Some remain on the same spot be it table or group for the duration and some move about but eventually return to a chosen spot. There’s no hard and fast rule to having a good time.
Be you the social butterfly or professional party-goer or maybe neither, all can be found at parties the length and breadth of the globe. Whichever category you belong to, we all have our part to play at the social rituals we are familiar with and that are essential to us. Thus, the equilibrium is maintained and society continues on an even keel.