Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Wedding

As mentioned in my last blog, Sunday before we took Andi to the airport we attended our driver Caesar’s wedding. I got to wear my first dress – or “man-dress” if you will – which is called a Kanju (Kon-Jew). I don’t have a full length picture but I’m hoping Andi does and I’ll link to it if she posts (and sure enough here it is). Andi’s dress wasn’t exactly what she was expecting – she thought she looked more like a gipsy – but it still looked very nice. Unfortunately we had to leave early to get to the airport so we didn’t get to stay for the whole wedding, but we got to see enough – and we were given enough information – that I got a general idea of what was going on.

The wedding itself was very interesting and quite a bit different than a traditional church type wedding. One thing we all noticed was how much laughing there was. The ceremony – which is called an “introduction” because it’s the first time the groom meets the bride’s parents – is very elaborate and festive. It involves many different parts where members of the bride’s family are played on to stage by loud music. As the members dance out on to stage, which is surrounded by guest on three sides, two men talk back and forth throughout. I had no idea what was being said but due to the tone, and all the laughter coming from the non-muzungu guest, it was clear that everything was very lighthearted and fun.

There are many other details – like the dowry system (yes sometime after we left a cow changed hands) and the groom hiding among the guest so the bride has to go find him – that I couldn’t begin to understand, so I won’t try to explain them. All and all – and this may upset some readers – it was just more fun than our weddings. I have to mention that they, typically, also have a faith based wedding following this ceremony and it’s probably just as boring as ours. But at least they have the introduction and I’m told once the bride and groom leave the after party can go to the next day… I’m just saying.

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