When you are meant to stay in a new country for a certain period of time, you always try to find a balance between your own habits and what is accepted in the new environment.
Being a catholic, I first found it difficult to find a church to attend as majority of people here in Lagos go to redeemed churches. This is why when my host told me about that catholic church, I actually was very happy.
That Sunday, I remember telling myself “Finally a church where I know the process flow. Afterall, all the catholic churches work the same way right” if only I knew…
The church was nice and the service was very interesting. Some women were staring at my afro so I just thought there were amazed by my natural hair.
Then came the moment to receive communion. While walking on the main path of the church, one of the church workers stopped me and told me I could not get it without having my hair covered first. I, then, looked around me and noticed that all women had covered their hair with either a scarf or a hat ( at that moment, I understood why they were staring at my hair).
I was embarrassed to be stopped like that and the church worker was not ready to let me go without me covering my head so he gave me a TISSUE PAPER to “cover” my afro.
So, as you can imagine, I had to walk to the priest with a SMALL SQUARED TISSUE PAPER on top of my head. I felt very embarrassed as everybody in the church saw the scene.
I, later, was told that in most catholic churches in Lagos, women cover their hair.
I,then, tried to remember to bring a scarf along with me every time I was going to church but was forgetting at time and had to face the frustration of not being allowed to receive communion.
Thio, from Belgium to Nigeria