My dear Grandmother’s friend had a friend who lived with her in the US when he came to America for college many years ago. He is originally from Tanzania and actually invited me to his nephews wedding! He is the gentleman I talked about in my very first post.
I got the chance to go to the wedding and it was WONDERFUL! Everyone was so welcoming and it was such a neat experience to be apart of. Imagine going to a wedding where you can’t understand anything anyone is saying! Of course some spoke English and I understood a few phrases but I couldn’t even try to fit in. I stood out like a zebra in a room painted entirely of pink. It was so fascinating to see the different traditions compared to a wedding back home. The evening began with Mr. Tony sending a taxi to pick us up and one of his son’s took us home after the wedding. Their kindness was unbelievable.
My good friend Simone was my plus 1 since my boyfriend wasn’t in Africa. She killed the dance floor! At the beginning of the reception the husband’s family makes a big line with family members on each side and the brides family walks in between them. Everyone is dancing in the big celebration line and they hug each of their new family members (the members of the brides family) into their family. Simone and I got to be apart of the husband’s side of the family and dance in the line and cheer everyone into the family. We all were seated and then the wedding party comes through and then the bride and groom came dancing in to their song. There was a spokes person at the wedding and TV’s set up everywhere so you could see everything going on.
Weddings are VERY BIG in Africa! Everyone in the community pitches in money for the wedding. If I wrote everything out from the night it would take you a year to read so I am just going to write out the main high lights! Before the bride and groom popped the champagne it went around the entire reception hall and everyone touched it. It was then given to the bride and groom to pop open. There was A LOT of dancing, singing, and ceremonial things that went on.
One of those things was the husband receiving a large spear. It is a tradition in their tribe to get this upon marriage. It shows that he is the man of the house. It is meant to stand up right in his and his wife’s bedroom. However, when he passes away it is supposed to be turned upside down. The wedding began around 5PM and we didn’t start to eat until 10PM. A lot of the foods were from the husbands tribe. I tried a bit of everything (which was A LOT). It was all delicious! We ended up leaving around midnight; however, the wedding was still going on!
It was truly an unforgettable night! They accepted us as family and were so loving.