Our church is very small and Saturday was the first wedding they have had in a while, so it was a BIG event. It was fun to see a little bit of Senegalese culture. The true Senegalese ceremony was held out in a village (someday we will see one of those too), so this ceremony had a lot of Western influences. Here are some things I learned about culture here through the ceremony.
The more it sparkles the better. Dress is important here. It shows your respect and honor for who you are seeing. Apparently you are supposed to wear a new outfit whenever you go to a wedding and the more it sparkles the better. It was fun to see everyone dressed up in their fancy clothes. There was a mix of traditional outfits and fancy gowns. It was an opportunity to where my first Senegalese outfit. I only had a few sparkles on it. I will have to work up to more.
Only White people show up on time – The wedding started 1 and half hours late. I will be a little smarter next time 🙂 In fact probably about a forth of the people at the ceremony walked in trailing the bride. Apparently the bride not only gets walked down by her father, but also her WHOLE family.
Formalities are important – I knew we were in trouble when there were chairs provided for the bride and groom. The ceremony was very long, but in this culture all the formalities of a ceremony are very important.
Dancing – The bridal party danced down the aisle. It was awesome. At the end of the reception there was traditional dancing. Everyone of ALL ages joined in and knew what to do. My favorite was seeing a father dancing with his two children on his hips (talk about a workout).
It was a long, but fun opportunity. There is another wedding in January when Tori will be in the bridal party and dancing down the aisle!