Saturday, February 21, 2009

A newly wed couple...

I went to a wedding last Saturday, February 14. It was the wedding for one of the bank employees. They were lovely. The wedding ceremony was contemporary and presided by a pastor, so there was no real excitement. But the ceremony was conducted in a way that must have given them a great meaning because they all memorized a lot of phrases. Moreover, it was the Valentine's Day.

In Rwandan culture, the groom has to send a cow or two to the bride's parents to marry their daughter. So it is costly to get married. Charles, the bank employee, had to borrow money from the bank to send the cow. Many cannot afford the cow so they choose not to get married. Some suspect that this custom will gradually disappear. Until then, however, it is a great burden to all grooms in Rwanda. Moreover, the process of sending the cow is not easy. It takes a lot of haggle and negotiation for the value of the groom and the bride side also negotiates back with more haggle and negotiation. This taks approximately three hours, they say. Elderly people take it more seriously than young people.

After the wedding, I realized that they were hugging three times when they were greeting each other. So I hugged the groom three time crossing the faces. It is a Rwandan way... - Jeffrey

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