A Chinese agronomist’s three-year stint in Nigeria taught him how to go from “culture shock” to “culture appreciation”
UNLIKE most Chinese agronomists working in Africa, 41-year-old aquaculture expert Wang Dajun, who goes by the pen name Bo Wen, did not confine himself to purely technical matters on his mission to Nigeria.
In his recently published book, The Thousand and One Nights in Africa, a collection of excerpts from his diary written during his stay in the country in 2004-07, he details his many encounters with local people.
In fact, by observing and communicating with the local people, Bo was able to go beyond stereotypes about Africa and made up his own mind about Nigeria, eventually falling in love with Nigerian culture.
But such understanding did not come easily. In such a distant and culturally different country, he also experienced culture shock during the initial days of his mission. with local people was a great help in my work in the country,” he added.
In addition, he also advised his Chinese colleagues that they have to adapt their mindset. “Since we were working in Nigeria, we must get used to local ways of doing things,” he said, adding that this attitude made him feel much more comfortable working with his Nigerian colleagues.