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.
Further information on National Wedding Traditions:
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