French RSVP vs Nigerian RSVP

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Mambo vipi,

I bring you greetings from Kenya, by asking, ‘what’s up?’ in Swahili language.  So, the first half of the year is coming to a close. It has been mixed feelings across different circles. Our heart goes to those who lost their lives and properties in the inferno of yesterday in London.

Today, I will want to touch on parties typically called ‘Owanbe’, a word postulated by the Late General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo, former Governor of Western Region Nigeria. Every party has a stipulated budget, this primarily determines the provision to be made for the guests. We all have the good intentions when planning our parties so as not to fail our guests. Let us consider, RSVP in France and in Nigeria.

The acronym RSVP in French means Répondez s'il vous plaît meaning "Please respond", it is required by the party planner to confirmation if the person would honour the invitation. Also, some people use it in the context of "Regrets only", or a popular modern variation that implies "if you do not reply, that will be taken as an acceptance."

Interestingly, the comic definition of RSVP to Nigerians is “Rice and Stew Very Plenty”. I doff my cap for the person who created this, however, it has impacted negatively on planning a party. No one would mention it that he did not respond to ‘RSVP” to confirm availability. Also, people whose name are not listed on RSVP take offense as if they are not important in the organization of the party.

What’s the crux of the gist? When an invitation is not responded to, it leads to two basic situations- surplus provision or insufficient provision. Planning for an event is as important as the confirmation gotten from the guests.

Equally, when we are taking up other cultures, we should import it rightly into our environment so that we can give the desired result. Things should be placed in proper perspective if we want results akin to that of the originating culture.

Would you respond rightly to invitations henceforth?



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