Monday, May 28, 2007
Traditional Wedding (by Ben)
(The group from Lira)
Yesterday, Holly and I went to a village outside of a small town bordering Congo to attend a friend’s wedding. Carol, the bride (who works with us at CPA) grew up in the village near Congo, while Tom, the groom (a good friend) grew up in Lira. As such, we all woke up very early and caravanned to the village. Several goats and cows accompanied us on the journey.
Holly and I have attended wedding ceremonies before, but this was the first one we really felt integrated with the other guests; the newly weds are friends of ours, and we had been to enough ceremonies like this to know how to conduct ourselves.
(Holly in her stylish Gomaz)
Holly wore a traditional dress called a gomaz, and I wore the traditional suit. After we arrived at the wedding, we waited for the “negotiations” between Tom’s elders and Carol’s elders to decide on the “bride price”. Half and hour was designated for the negotiations, but they lasted for over five hours. By the time they finished it was dark. But no problem…it was time to celebrate! Women were ululating, pounding the ground with weeding hoes, and waving dried fish on a stick. In the initial hours, men needed to wear a stern face, without smiling, or they would be fined. After speeches by fathers, everyone was allowed to visibly enjoy themselves.
(Carol the bride)