All over Africa, we have people with interesting lifestyles. These lifestyles dictate the various customs and are part of the many ceremonies that occur there. There are over three thousand tribes in Africa, and each of them has its unique traditions. You can see those showcased in ceremonies like birth, death, and marriage. Here are eight of such traditions for weddings and their meanings.
- Congo And the No Smiles Tradition
While couples in most parts of the world spend their wedding day beaming with happiness, Congolese couples are different. The bride and groom are expected not to smile the entire day. If they did, it would mean that they were not serious about their marriage.
- Kenya And the Father-Of-The-Bride
You’ve probably heard of the Maasai tribe in Kenya. But did you know that when the bride is about to leave with her new husband after the ceremony, her dad spits on her? This is because of the belief that the family should not tempt fate by being too supportive of the new couple.
- Namibia And the “Bridenapping”
Brides who marry into the Himba tribe of Namibia must expect to be kidnapped. Not to worry, however, there is no negative note to this abduction. The process is used to take care of the bride. Her skin, wardrobe, and hair are all worked on. She’s crowned in expensive jewelry at the end too.
- South Africa And the Gift Exchange
Most African cultures expect the groom’s family to pay the bride price, and that’s it. In Zulu culture, however, things are a little different. After the bride price (lobola) is paid, and gifts are given to the bride’s family, there is an aftermath known as umbondo. Here the bride reciprocates by buying groceries for the groom’s family.
- South Sudan And the Child First Tradition
The Nuer people of South Sudan have an interesting child first tradition. The groom pays a price of cows to the bride’s family to start the wedding. The bride is, however, expected to birth two children before the wedding can be considered complete. If she ends up having just one, her husband can ask for a divorce. When he does, he is given the option of choosing between the child or the cows.
- Zambia And the Groom’s Feast
In the Bemba tribe in Zambia, the groom’s family is really valued. During a ceremony known as Chilanga Mulilo, the bride’s family takes many different dishes to the groom’s family. This gives the groom a preview of the many dishes he will eat when married to their daughter.
- Nigeria And the Tasting of The Elements Tradition
The Yoruba tribe of Nigeria is very elaborate when it comes to their wedding ceremonies. In the tasting of the element’s ritual, the couple eats sour, sweet, hot, and bitter food together. This represents balance in their relationship. It is seen as proof that they are ready to go through the good and the bad together.
- Ghana And Appreciation for The Bride’s Brother(S)
In Ghana, it is customary for the groom to give the bride’s brothers money as a means of appreciation. This is to thank them for taking care of and guarding the bride so far. If her brothers are unavailable, this money is given to her male cousins.
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