Our first 2 weekends in December were surrounded with weddings. The first one took us down to the southern part of Senegal to see a coworker and friend get married.
This past weekend our host family’s adopted daughter did the first 2 step in her wedding which is a traditional ceremony at our host families house along with the official paperwork at the mayors office. Now all that is left for them is to save up enough for their church wedding, the final step in the marriage process. I spent the weekend out with my host mom helping her prepare for the festivities. We stayed up late and woke up early, but it was good to be there with them during this important time.
A few interesting information about weddings here…
- While people are mostly free to marry who they would like, most of the wedding negotiations are between the 2 families and not the couple.
- Often the uncles on the father’s side are more important in negotiations than the fathers.
- The traditional ceremony, call the engagement party, the groom doesn’t show up at.
- When speeches are given the oldest family member is always given the first chance to speak.
- All from the village who are of the same age as the bride or groom, play an important roll in the ceremony
- Most people in different communities pool money together for gifts and contributions to the festivities. These are presented to the person from the wedding that they are most connected too.
- Cola nuts and mints are handed out for the festivities
- Don’t forget the dancing. Always an important part of any wedding
- The kitchen or food prep station is usually set up right next door. Cooking over a fire makes finding a place to cook much easier.
Don’t forget the cooks, part of arrival is taking time to make it back and greet the cooks! I love that they are not forgotten