I got to go to traditional wedding with my friend Hawa the other weekend. (Hawa is in the middle and the sister of the bride is the lady on the right. We were invited by her. She is my neighbor.)It was a great experience. We got there around 6pm. There was a DJ that was playing African music under an open tent. There were chairs and people were either sitting or dancing. The DJ knew Hawa and started singing a song about how awesome she was and how awesome I was. We then both went up and gave him about $2 US. He then kept singing about us throughout the night. Very embarrassing for me but very normal for them. I guess Hawa’s wedding was where the DJ got his debut. After about an hour the bride showed up with her maid of honor. They walked in and said hi to everyone and then left. I noticed that there were groups of ladies that all wore outfits made from the same fabric. Each group had a different fabric and was either the family of the bride or ladies from different social groups that knew the bride. After that the performers came. They had a metal flute, drums, chanting and did what I would call African break dancing. See the links below for videos on the dancing.
These performers did various stunts as seen in the above videos. The better the stunts the more money people gave them. The gave them bills, not coins, normally in small amounts, like 500 CFA. The people put the money either in their hands, mouths or in a calebasse. The men used the calebasse to make music by tapping on it with metal rings they put on their hands. Look at the picture below. These performers were the highlight of the night but it was just ladies and children that were there watching them. The only guys that were in that area were the servers that came and went and the performers. There was no food served to us except a bag of couscous made out of rice and yogurt that was given to us in a bag to take home. There was food served to others. I am assuming it was given to the guys under a tent on the other side of the building. During the time of the performers the god mother of the bride brought in her presents and presented them to the bride in front of everyone. We just gave the sister of the bride money in an envelope in passing. The bride and her maid of honor by that time had changed her clothes and hair for the 3rd time. This time the bride wore a beautiful blue dress. Some time after this the father of the bride came in with a hat made out of money to greet the guests and performers. See the link below to see what happened. https://www.facebook.com/melissa.honebein/videos/10155530874020315/?l=2136559469638341951
There was a lot that I am sure I didn’t see or understand in this event. Yet, I felt very privileged to be there, especially with my good friend Hawa.