African Wedding Traditions and Influences of West and Islam

Today’s African wedding traditions date back to thousands of years. It has never been a marriage between two persons but a bond between two tribes. Even today a marriage means a union of two families. On the other hand variety of religions, customs and ethnic groups has made African wedding traditions a bonanza of ceremonies. Marriage ceremonies are colorful, bewitching and colorful.
The African marriages are divided into different categories including:
• Ankole Wedding Traditions
• Pygmie Wedding traditions
• Moroccan wedding traditions
• Nile Wedding traditions
• Congo Wedding traditions
• Zambian Wedding traditions
None of two categories are exactly alike. But most of the African people like to follow their marriage customs even in Western societies to pay homage to their cultures.

Important Features of African Marriage Traditions

• Most of the African wedding traditions are impressive and expensive.
• The twelve symbols of life may be administered in some African wedding traditions.
• One of the most interesting African wedding tradition is jumping the broom.
• Another interesting tradition is that couple’s rings are tied to a long ribbon and passed through the crowd. Every one in the crowd is a symbol that the society is not expressing its support to the marriage but also taking responsibility to help it continue.

Modern Way to Adopt African Wedding Traditions

Love to African marriage traditions has forced the African families to conduct two marriages in western culture. They follow their traditional ceremonies in one marriage and modern western cultures in other marriage.
Many Africans will agree that these trends have strongly influenced the original colors of their marriage ceremonies. It is not a surprise that African marriage traditions have been changing radically in many countries. Many modern Africans may prefer to go to court and follow common law arrangements.

Influence of Religion and West

The vastly followed religions; Christianity and Islam, have also influenced the African marriage traditions. The Muslims in Africa try to follow the traditions advocated by different Muslim scholars. They dance and sing but always offer a Valima.
The bride should be a virgin by the centuries old traditions of African people. However, under the influence of western culture, the tradition is dying. The violators claim that they want to be sure about sexual compatibility and fertility. However, Islam does not allow this kind of liberty. There are certain medical and psychological tests which can meet some requirements.

African Wedding Proceedings

The first step in an African wedding is to manage a meeting of the both families involving in the wedding ceremony. They try to investigate and understand each other to the best level. After marriage ceremony, the bride comes to live with the groom and his family.
Then a wedding feat is hosted. The bride is shown to the guests. This ceremony is one of the major ceremonies in an African marriage. The bride enters the women’s world.
In Egypt marriages are largely arranged. There is a musical wedding march called the Zaffa, just before the marriage ceremony. Usually a married couple is elected to “sponsor” the bride and groom throughout the wedding and during their first years as newlyweds.
Ideally, the bride wears a wedding dress that has been passed down by her mother and grandmother as a sign of respect and family pride.
Another African wedding tradition involves a rosary or ribbon being wrapped in a figure eight around the couple’s necks or waists as a symbol of their unity.
Flowers are everywhere at any Guatemalan wedding, and the ceremony is followed by singing and dancing and rejoicing.

A Caribbean Island wedding does not stand on ceremony. Even the guests do not need some specific invitation. In fact any one can join the marriage without any hesitation. A Caribbean Island wedding ceremony can go on all night, with traditional steel-drum island music, lots of sweet but potent rum punch, wild dancing and many toasts to the health and happiness of the new couple. A typical wedding feast features curried goat and spicy chicken jerky. The food at a typical island reception reflects the uniqueness of the Islands.
And no Fiji wedding reception is considered complete without the traditional drink of the islands, Kava.

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