Abuja - Foreigners at the ongoing 13th Abuja National Carnival on Monday lauded Nigeria's rich cultural heritage exhibited by participants at the festival which entered the third day.
The foreign participants particularly showed their excitement during the carnival’s masquerade fiesta on Monday in Abuja.
Rachel Harley from the UK, who witnessed the masquerade fiesta at the Eagle Square, said Nigeria was indeed blessed with diverse beautiful cultures which had made the nation beautiful.
``Nigeria is really blessed with a lot of cultural riches and I am really enjoying it. We do not really have masquerades in the UK, so I’m seeing something new.
``God has created many different cultures and one of the beauties of Nigeria is that there are so many languages and cultures and it is wonderful to celebrate the cultural riches and the vibrancy that you have here.
``I am very excited to be a part of it and I am grateful to God who has made all these things bright and beautiful,’’ she said.
Harley urged people to appreciate their culture and tradition, irrespective of what they represented, saying that was their heritage as a people.
``It is good for people to be able to appreciate and value their own cultures and languages. After all, it was God who made all languages and all cultures equally.
``I also think that religious bodies have a lesson to learn from this by enjoying the culture and bringing it to their congregations in a way that it will glorify God.’’
Rachel Neumeister from Canada said although she had attended quite a number of carnivals in her country, they could not compare to what she had experienced in Nigeria.
``The beautiful array of dance, culture and colour is something new for me,’’ she said.
Neumeister said that wearing an African attire known as "Adire" was a beautiful piece that she would like to return home with so that many people would know that she had been to Nigeria.
She described Nigeria as a strong nation with beautiful people and a lot of potential to live fulfilled lives.
``Nigeria has diverse culture with diverse land and the people are good. They want the best for their country and have a lot of potential,’’ Neumeister said.
Bao Chang, a Chinese national, said that so far the carnival had been a show of wonder, adding that he was happy to partake in it.
``So far it has been wonderful. I hope all other nations will come up with their own carnivals and festivals so that people can know that they are rich too.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, Ebonyi, FCT, Niger, Taraba, Kwara and Anambra participated in the masquerade fiesta.