Nigeria ranks among the prominent African nations whose patients seek medical treatment in India. This trend has many reasons, such as affordability, world-class treatments, availability of ancillary services, and cultural similarities. The last factor is most important in enhancing the patient’s treatment experience. There are many cultural similarities between Nigeria and India; both are populous, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic societies.
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Interestingly, the diversity found within Nigeria’s three major tribes and numerous minority tribes mirrors the heterogeneous nature of Indian society, encompassing 15 official languages and many ethnic backgrounds.
Imagine someone leaving their country and going to a new place for medical help. This isn’t just about medicine – it involves dealing with new languages, customs, and ways of life. These challenges can be confusing and unsettling. If not dealt with properly, such challenges can even stress out the patient. Cultural similarities play a significant role, like a guiding light in the dark.
Let’s take one of our cases as an example – a Nigerian patient coming to India for treatment. Even though these countries might seem far apart on the map, they share a lot culturally. Both countries value things like family, faith, and traditions. When a Nigerian patient arrives in India and finds these shared values, it helps them feel like they belong, almost like an oasis in a strange desert.
Nigerians have gained an affinity towards the Indian culture due to the popularity of Indian movies in the country. The local channels regularly telecast Indian films. Moreover, India has participated in the Abuja Carnival quite a few times, showcasing the rich cultural heritage the subcontinent holds. Nigeria, also being a culturally rich country, has very flavourful traditions. So, such cultural similarities between Nigeria and India become relatable to them, making the Nigerian patients feel at home.
Language is another crucial link between cultures. Nigeria and India use English, so it’s a way for people from both countries to communicate efficiently. Moreover, India has the largest english-speaking population. Almost 95% of that population has intermediate to native proficiency in english. Good communication is more than words – it’s like a beautiful song that helps patients and doctors trust each other. When conversations go well, it’s like a symphony of understanding.
Digging deeper, you’ll see how critical dietary rules and religious practices are. Imagine a Nigerian patient who follows specific food rules because of their culture or religion. These rules are fundamental and go beyond borders. India is a diverse tapestry of various cultures, with many religions thriving within its borders.
The multitude of religions have been peacefully co-existing in the country for centuries. The same is the case with Nigeria – many tribes with unique cultural identities have been thriving within the same land. Hence, an Indian hospital that respects and follows these rules shows care and understanding.
The availability of familiar cuisine is a significant factor for the patient deciding the country to get their treatment. While you would try the host country’s cuisine, your home country’s cuisine is something you would always relish. On its path to becoming a global medical hub, India offers multi-cuisine options to its international patients. From continental to middle-eastern, you can get everything in the country. Major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore are dotted with restaurants dedicated to African cuisine.
Notably, cuisine is also one of the cultural similarities between Nigeria and India. Both cuisines have a pinch of European influence. Moreover, Nigerian cuisine also carries some undertones from Indian cuisine due to its use of spices to create complex and aromatic dishes. The two cultures share primary ingredients like chicken, rice, potatoes, beans, eggs, and okra. These similarities can help a Nigerian patient adjust to India’s culture, enhancing the treatment experience.
But the impact of cultural similarity goes beyond the visible things. Intangible cultural similarities like familial values and hospitality help the patients feel less lonely and stressed when they are far from home. Both countries have a warm culture, i.e., they treat visitors as their own. Such familiar practices, flavors, or even friendly chats that recognize their culture become like a guide, helping patients through unfamiliar situations. The idea of a ‘home away from home’ is not just a saying; it’s like a safe place built on shared experiences.
In the world of medical travel, where Nigeria and India come together for health, hospitals that understand cultural similarities offer a special kind of care. They create an experience that combines medical skills with emotional support. The patient’s journey becomes more than just medical treatment; it becomes a story of coming together, trusting, and getting better.
In short, the connection of cultural similarities between Nigeria and India is like a masterpiece made from shared values, language, traditions, and understanding. For people from Nigeria who seek treatment in India, it’s like finding comfort in a strange place. The mix of two cultures becomes a canvas where medical journeys are painted with colors of connection, empathy, and caring.
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