Other African Tribal Customs
A traditional African wedding is a complex pack of divergent customs, rituals and events. The influence of Islam, Christianity and Western values is imminent. However, African public prefers to follow their centuries old African tribal customs with a lot of honor and pride.
A marriage in Africa is not union of two persons but of two families. And majority of African marriages are arranged. The role of families of the marriage partners is very important. The
general public considers arranged marriages as a symbol of honor and prestige. That’s why every notable family and their children prefer arranged marriages even when their children develop some kind of affair before marriage. The children of a married couple are considered belonging to the families and their parents in equal terms.
On the other hand the poor families allow love marriages. The young people have to decide their life partners independently. Though they may have consent of their parents but still they are not forced to enter an arranged marriage against their wills.
In African tribal customs, the girls are supposed to avoid sexual interaction before marriages. They protect their virginity as a symbol of their honor and respect. Most of the women in African believe that they should follow a specific order of love, marriage and child birth.
In today’s Lamu communities the brides are mandated to be virgin before wedlock. They recognize it as a chapter of honor and respect. They want their women adjusted to safeguard their families and support a good esteem.
Under Western vehemence some people may accept pre-marital sexual relations as a part of marriage process. Some may argue that it is a way to determine sexual compatibility between the partners and to examine their fertility. However, there are certain scientific and psychological methods to determine the both sides without having sexual relation.
In African tribal customs the age of the marriage partners has never been an issue. However, under the influence of Islam and Western values, the modern states of African have preferred to fix a minimum age level for marriage. The marriage age level is low in uneducated girls while it is increasing fast in the educated girls. In Muslim and Protestant families the women prefer to marry from 19 years to 29 years of their ages.
In African tribal customs, the bride is shows to the whole tribe. It is a symbolic consent of the bride to enter in the world of women. She is going to be no more a girl but a woman who can share her private talks to other married women.
A special ceremony is organized. The public welcomes the bride with clapping and cheerful sounds. She is admitted as a star of night. The brides are expected to wear traditional marriage dresses. However, if families allow the bride may go for western styled marriage dresses.
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