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Monday, March 17, 2008

Birthday Parties and Rice

I was home over the weekend to spend time with my folks and siblings, since I’ve not seen them in a while.

Later in the day, I was going through my picture box when I saw the above picture that inspired this post, about birthday parties and rice.

As a child, I attended enough birthday parties where a birthday cake was absent. In place of the cake is salivating jollof rice, dished onto a tray, dressed with onions, tomatoes and lots of meat. On both sides of the tray are soft drinks.

Then the celebrant and the well wishers, stand behind the tray of rice on the table, and pose for pictures, with the celebrant holding onto the spoon on top of the rice hill.

After the pictures, the adults stand and watch us children eat the birthday rice together. And I don’t remember having up to three spoons, because the rice gets finished in a second. Another tray is brought, and same thing happens, because there are stronger hands with wider mouths, who swallow rice instead of chew, thus their spoons make regular trips. And the saddest part of these (rice tray) parties is that the rice is usually so delicious and I never get to enjoy it.

Those types of birthday parties were never fun for me, unlike the one where I get a plate to myself (pix above. I’m second from the left, the only socks wearer).

And eating in one spirit wasn’t just a birthday thing alone because I count a Christmas spent in the village, where visiting children to a house had to wait for more children to visit so that they all could spoon into a tray of rice together. Extremely gross.

And that aside, I’ve heard tales of families with lot of children, having to eat from the same place, and it is always the stronger ones that get filled. As in everything around us, it is the survival of the fittest.


  1. May you never visit a rural hausa community during sallah, the thought of the dripping saliva n Mucus dripping into the bowl of shared Miyan Kuka still numbs my stomach cells.

  2. I like seeing old school pictures on blogs. Something so real about 'em.

  3. you just took me back

    those were the times where, birthdays and christmas were really celebrated

    and they used to be so much fun

    for the birthday parties, you have to wear your highest clothes, nack it with your christmas shoe..

    and there always used to be a difference from the rice you ate at home from the rice you would eat at a party "party rice" it used to taste 100 times better

    it was all worth it

    chaii,you took me back

  4. so, which one are you? extreme right?

  5. yeaaaaaaaa 1st!
    lmao i remember those rice incidents, rice as cake? we don suffer no be small

  6. lmao...it actually reminds me of uni...yep uni...kai see bigger babe confession...we were lazy but so one of us managed to cook we would all eat, I swear some ppl dont even feel the heat of the food....kai, we had a friend that used to swallow hot eba like it was ice cream...

    Childhood parties were fun, we all looked forward to it cake or no cake...unlike now when parents spend a fortune trying to bring disney world to the party....who the hell is disney, he isn't even Nigerian!!!

  7. @ sprezatura - I no go eat!

    @ Don - tell me about it.

    @ Fresh and Fab - yes oh! Those rice sweet well well.

    @ Jinta - ha Jinta! U didn't read the post to the end, U would have picked me out. extreme right? That girl is ugly!

    @ soupasexy - it is called improvisation.

    @ Afrobabe - we even did that in sec school too. Using ring boiler to boil rice without salt. once it's ready, more mouths show up and u wonder what happened to the rice. Really, who the hell is disney!

  8. Lol! posing with rice n spoon. We called it "rounders"

    Love d socks.

  9. hahahahahahahahahahaha......u funny oooo hahahahahahahaha

  10. Hey Uzezi, you reminded me of my past life where i grew up in a very remote catlepost. I know exactly what you talking about when you talk of survival of the fittest!

    I think i'll really love birthdays of that sort. At least you guys remembered very important days like those. I never gotten to celebrate birthdays until i got to my high primary school, coz thats when mum got me a transfer from catlepost to town.

    I love this post. Very inspiring.
    And i love your pictures when you were young. Can you please send your recent photo to seane@jaybabe.com

    Just to see how u look like now you know?..lol..well..if you don mind that is...

  11. Jinta, which part of sock did u not read???????????

    still in a car romancing mood I see...

  12. And soupasexy I almost screamed first too...hahahahahahha very glad I didn't!!!

  13. nowadays...children parties are for their mothers to show off their gold and dresses...no focus on rice. LOL

  14. @ OluwaDee - really posing with rice and spoon. Thanks for my socks. I wonder where it is.

    @ Onome - hahahahah. I funny oh!

    @ Jaybabe - he, u want c fine girl picture? Alright. I will send.

    @ Afrobabe - no mind jinta. Anyway, the car thing is quite traumatic.

  15. lovely memories u have there.
    rice mound instead of cake? lol

    all i can picture is the germs being shared.

    nice blog

  16. i agree with fresh/;; party rice is the best, just used to take really good, i dont know what they put in it

  17. you were the cutest little thing in the world!!!!!...with your socks on!!!!....lol...

    ...you suffered indeed...my parents wouldn't allow us to outeat the younger ones, which happened to also be boys!...in fact, sometimes they were allowed to eat first and then we could eat what was left...i quickly started demanding my own plate...

    ...kai, i still laugh at the thought of that small girl in the pic breastfeeding dolls and wincing in feigned pain...lol...

  18. @ Sherri - GERMS! Jesus I want to throw up after all this years! Thanks for stopping by.

    @ Akanimo - u like food sha!

    @ guerreiranigeriana - oh thank u.
    what they did then when kids eat together, they let the youngest to share the meat and the eldest will chose or the eldest will share and the youngest will chose. Just live m e breastfeeding my doll oh! lol

  19. omg, I really should have not read sprezatura's comment. My stomach is so queesy and I can't remember what I was going to say apart from inyama! yuck!

  20. @ SOLOMONSYDELLE - sorry! sprezatura! see what u've caused

  21. LOL! This was really funny uzezi.
    Now am hungry for some party rice,lol!

    Someone invite me to a party o!

  22. This post reminds me of those days when i used to visit my uncle's house during holidays. He had 7 kids and we all had to eat from one try.
    Na them teach me how to rush food till today,lol!

  23. I learnt about eating from the same plate, bowl or pot when I was in boarding house. Anytime i remember how we all used to eat okro from the same bowl...i want to throw up.

    It is sprezutura...that "dripping saliva" reminded me of the okro soup...inyamaaaaaaaa

  24. One plate of birthday rice...survival of the fittest indeed! I would've taken the tray and ran outside.

  25. @ Aphrodite - thank God it's Easter. Lots of rice, so don't worry.

    @ princesa - very funny.

    @ Waffarian - sprezutura again! He will be sanctioned.

    @ Jewells - u can do that if u are the strongest.

  26. I mean you are so beautiful girl, thats what i meant with the J.C remark. You dont look different from when you were young. Thanx for the pictures. I love your eyes more...keep smiling.

  27. LOL!! Party rice... those were the days.
    I like the pic btw.

  28. Uzezi. this is serious ojoro. me too, i want to see recent pics now. how come jaybabe gets preferential treatment. oya, my email is simispeaksblog@yahoo.com am waiting o.

    eh, me i dont remember rice trays o. but then again i wasnt in the village.. ok,ok am joking. dont stone me!

  29. @ Jaybabe - yeah. thanks. i will keep smiling.

    @ Aijay - thanks

    @ Simi Speaks - ha. i don entire trouble oh! what. village? me?

  30. my parents used to tell such tales. so they are kind of familiar. they did it mostly to remind us how much we had to be thankful for the things we have. they also told us about a time when rice was only eaten as a special delicacy, on sundays! that used to really tickle me.

  31. @ teediva - seriously. till date. some homes, rice is still only on sundays.

  32. lol!!!!!!!
    rice tray instead of cake? sincerely i have nevr seen that before?
    and u are the only socks wearer? loll u surelike food cos u were the only one clutching ur plate

    lol this post

  33. Hi Uzezi,

    I was surfing your blog after your comment on mine. I like your blog esp. the book shelf very nice. I know this is off the subject. Just out of curiousity r u here in the States or r u in Nigeria?

  34. @ darkelcee - i like food a lot actually.

    @ wordaholic - thanks 4 stopping by. im in Nigeria. didn't u check my profile.

  35. lol, i dont think i have ever stayed long at a b-day party wthout a cake. the cake is the first thing i go looking for. I am obsessed with cakes, even at weddings, i look for the cake. lol. My granny is a baker, and my mother let us bake cakes everyday if it was possible.lol.
    @ the collective eating, i refuse to do it. I will rather not eat. eyamah.

  36. @ pink gloves - the collective eating thing is fun at times. brings out the animal in you. lol

  37. Uzezi, u be real kolo!...this birthday rice story got me in stitches...takes me waaay back! u funny!!