Hundreds upon hundreds of Nigerians-Binis from Edo State-descended upon Heckscher State Park, in East Islip on Long Island, for their annual Edo Community and Youth Movement picnic.

“We put on this event every year to see our friends and colleagues and to keep the culture alive for our young people,” said Osahon Obadiaru, president of the Edo Organization of New York. “We want to reinforce our connection to the language, the traditions, the food and the politics. We want to enjoy our culture with our families.”

The free event is held at the park every summer, and every type of Bini dish imaginable is served, from jollof rice to pounded yam, suya, egusi and stew. There are games, swimming and much, much politicking, and nothing ends until the sun goes down.

Groups of young people hang out in the shadow of their parents, aunts and uncles and just have a blast.

“We formed the Edo Youth Movement to keep our children in touch with all of our Edo culture,” said Price Victor Ehue, cultural director and vice president of the Edo Organization of New York. “We grow every year, because we want our young people to keep their pride in all things Edo.”

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