National Wedding Traditions: African Wedding

African Wedding Traditions African wedding traditions are very diverse due to the variety of cultures and religions existing here. The main idea in Africa is the concept of family, which is greatly honored here. Wedding thus is the unification of two extended families and the creation of the new one. Each tribe in Africa has its own wedding traditions. To a great extent, the type of wedding ceremonies is determined by the religion dominant in the region: Muslim, Christian, or Hindu. The preparations for wedding are started long before the actual day already by the fact that girls are intended to be wives from the early age and are trained to accomplish their duties. Sometimes they are even learned secret codes which allow them to communicate avoiding their husbands’ understanding. Wedding ceremonies can last for several days. Often the phenomenon of multiple weddings at the same time takes place. In Sudan the groom’s family pays compensation to the bride’s family for the loss of their daughter who is one of the bread-winners for the family. This compensation may reach thirty head of cattle. Somalia is marked with polygamy: a man can keep maximum four wives, if he can provide their living. Sometimes a girl is engaged before her actual birth. It is more common, however, that the bride and the groom are 13-15 years, as they reach physical adulthood. The concept of transition between childhood and adulthood is thus expressed in wedding. Wedding involves the diversity of colors, a lot of music and dancing and other festive elements of wedding ceremonies. Marriage is considered sacred, and divorce is uncommon in whole Africa. Very often the amulets are prepared for the newlyweds to remind them that cultural differences should be accepted tolerantly in order for marriage to prosper and succeed. Egyptian weddings are conducted in front of two witnesses, and when the bride price is set, the first chapter of Koran is read aloud.

Marco Douglas