Growing up in Nigeria, one of the first things you learn in your social studies class is that Nigeria has three major ethnic groups: Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. For whatever reason, the teachers never mentioned that we had over 200 ethnic groups. I found out about that when I came here.
While I was in Nigeria though, it was perfectly acceptable and common to refer to ethnic groups as "tribes." I never heard anyone say it was offensive or even insinuate that it could be offensive to say a person was from a particular tribe. That is, until my college days here in the United States.The Nigerian professor who taught me African literature in college was the first person to make this distinction. He said it was not politically correct to call ethnic groups 'tribes.' The proper term to use instead was 'nations.' Can you imagine?
For me, the word tribe is not offensive but I have since come to understand that outside Nigeria (or Africa) just about anything can be deemed politically incorrect.
For the record, political correctness means "conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated." [Source]
Question: What say you? Do you consider a person referring to your ethnic group (Tiv, Kanuri, Igbo, Urhobo, Yoruba, Hausa, etc) as a "tribe" offensive or politically incorrect?