African Wedding Customs
The African wedding customs are expression of exuberance deeply affected by Islam, Christianity and Western society. However, the African people celebrate their marriages with a lot of pride and honor.
In an African matrimony the families of the expected wives have to play a pivotal role. It is specifically correct in the Marriages of rich and wealthy families. Wedlock is taken a union amongst tribes. The kids of the wedlock are also considered related as much to their kinfolk groups as to their parents. The African wedding customs allow the tribes of the wedding parties to get involved heavily.
On the other hand the poor people don’t allow their families to interfere in their choice of marriage. It is a paradox but considered not good. Those in need of kinfolk compulsorily have to approach their fate willfully.
The Western critics insist with evidence that African wedding customs allow only arranged marriages. They go a step ahead and allege that in many cases the women are forced to marry to the man who pays their amount to their parents. They also add that such type of compelled wedlock may consequence into voluptuous harshness by the male partners.
Many visitors may agree that such practice remained in the world in almost all regions of the globe. Neither East nor West was free from such forced matrimony. However, due to improvement in knowledge and spread of information the home folks have changed their old time practices in many countries. Even Africa and Asia are not wanting of such improvement.
Another powerful aspect is often ignored. Africa is seriously affected by two factors; Western cultural pattern and beliefs of the residents. Islam is spreading. Christianity has ardent believers in Africa. Most of the Muslim sects don’t recognize legality of a coerced marriage even. But it is another fact that most of the Africans prefer arranged marriages as part of their socio-economic set-up. Even when wedlock is direct result of two-way interaction of the marrying partners, they ask their parents to settle the marriage issues.
Generally, the African women are expected to regard a settled process of marital closeness. The attraction wake ups first and the conjugal love comes at last. There has been no idea of conjugal love without a wedding. Most of the websites on this question affirm that African girls preserve their chasteness as a tradition. However, on the very next second, some webmasters claim that most of the African girls lose their virginity before regular marriage.
Instead of giving my opinion, I ask the guests from Africa to express their viewpoint on this issue. As far as I know from my Asian and Muslim background, the perseverance of womanhood is not a practice but a chapter of character. Islam does not allow sexual contact amongst a man and women unless they are validly married. However, if any of them rejects law of the Omnipotent then there are admonishments described in Islam. Even also if there is no evidence or offenders keep alive to the punishment, Quran permits the offenders to marry each other.
In today’s Lamu tribes the women are asked to be virgin aforetime matrimony. They reckon that it is chapter of chastity and admiration. They want their girls good to give help to their people and entertain a good prestige.
Under Western impact many young women conceive child as a mode to test union with the possible partner and measure the radical values of long duration against the price of prosperous opportunities or having the father abandon. The birth of descendants—the first child in particular—may be a prestigious step toward a union, rather than a logical outcome of it.
Many analyses have been made. The law is very definitive. But a clear cut age of girl and boy on their first wedding is not specific yet. In older times the marriage contract was contracted as early as possible. Now the knowledge, religion and Western society are the critical facets to upgrade the capability of first marriage. The Muslims and Protestant women marry from 19-29 years. In Christian areas the capacity of civil wedding in terms of age is greater.
Many of the young girls love monogamous civil weddings to achieve great prestige with their males and to evade the pressure of earlier wives. However, the raw data shows that about 36% girls in rural and 24% in urban areas have to be content with polygamous marriages.
The polygamy is not a result of first wedlock in lesser age. However, the age gaps between husband and wife act as a part in heavy polygamous affairs.
In eight out of our eleven countries, the likelihood of teenage marriage varies little amongst uneducated women and those with primary schooling. The schooling may result in delay of marriage in urban areas. However, schooling is secondary in the rural areas. Young educated brides are less approving to be polygamous wives; they resent becoming junior wives to girls with less learning or even senior wives in polygamous relations. Because well knowledgeable women face marriage pool restrictions in the choice of expected partners who are as schooled as themselves, they frequently prefer unsanctioned closeness with older people of wealth, hoping that their characters as "outside wives" will help them to advance into higher social echelons.
In African wedding customs, the boy offers a gift in cash or kind to the parents of the bride. Many adduce that it is not a civil wedding gift but fixed price of the bride which a man compulsorily has to pay. This money is taken as payment on a past loan that needs not be returned. The food and drinks that are taken together are now recalled not as wedlock preliminaries but a token of hospitality.
However, when we discover that a marriage in African wedding customs is not a union of two bodies but a treaty amongst two communities, the concept of purchasing a woman does not attract too much. Such unification can’t last long amongst two tribes of the purchaser and the commodity.
In Muslim families the customs are amended as per Sharia restrictions. The man has to pay dower to the wedded wife to promulgate the wedding contract fully. No Muslim marriage contract is taken as final without this activity.
In African wedding customs one ceremony is called Kubama. It is showing of the bride to the general public, whether invited or not. This action is acted in the evening of the marriage. This ceremony expresses will of the girl to enter in the world of the women. It is also claimed that fundamental idea behind Kubma is to accept the woman to be the star of the night like women of all romantic movies.
When the bride approaches her entry to the public, she is welcomed and applauded with thunder of applause and blissful cries. In African wedding customs the girls wear their traditional dresses. However, under the Western influences many of the women have started wearing the Western style of marriage dresses.
Under African wedding customs, single Kubama is sufficient. However, rich families affect two wedding events. African wedlock manners are followed in one wedding. And Western style of wedding is carried out in second Kubama.
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