Saturday, July 10, 2010

A different kind of wedding

That sure doesnt' look like a wedding, does it? Well, this is what they call the traditional wedding here in Cameroon. Most people have three wedding ceremonies here. They have the legal wedding, where they have to go to the courthouse and get married. Then they have the traditional marriage. This normally takes place in the Bride's village. The groom and his family all go to the bride's village and pay the dowry price and give gifts and basically beg for the families permission to marry the bride. This was the traditional wedding of Bernadette and Valentine. Ben took his video camera and also got a couple shots with his regular camera. He said the entire day was a big drama. The grooms family brought a ton of gifts in to the women of the bride (Aunts, mother, grandmothers, cousins, sisters etc...). There were cases of soft drinks, fish, palm nuts, and a bunch of other stuff. I don't even know what was in there. But the ladies kept saying stuff like, "This is all my daughter is worth?" and asking what if question. "What if she loses her arm...are you going to keep her or send her back and get rid of her because she is now useless?" The men were at a loss sometimes of what to say. One guy kept trying his best not to laugh. There were a bowl of palm nuts there and one old Ma was complaining that they weren't covered. So the guy that kept giggling pulled a bill out of his pocket and laid it on top of the nuts. The ladies kept complaining that they could still see the they kept adding money to cover it. Finally Valentine whispered for them to go out and get some banana leaves to cover it. It was hilarious. After the men give their gifts, it is the women in Valentines family that take a turn. They all danced around a bowl of money and were expected to keep tossing money into the bowl. The music kept going and going and the ladies kept looking at each other like....Uh...we don't have anymore! haha! Several ladies from our church were there b/c they are so involved in Valentines life they are like his family. All in all it was a very interesting day to say the least and Bernadette's family gave Valentine permission to marry her and I'm sure Valey's family walked away broke!
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1 comment:

  1. How different traditions are there. Bernadette looks beautiful doesn't she? She definetely got a wonderful young man for a husband.