Three in One!

No it is not a new golfing term, nor am I being particularly theological with the title of this post. One Sunday recently we attended three different celebrations within the day; needless to say, it was a big day! I have decided to split this into three consecutive posts so that it is not so long.

We started the day dressed in our newly made clothes (for the marriage celebration) to attend our local church. The seamstress was at church that morning (a first I believe) to see us in our clothes. Maybe we need to get more clothes made so that she will attend church again. It was good to celebrate with our friends and neighbours that God is Sovereign and the only one worthy of praise! After church we headed home to complete our outfits for the marriage celebration with the addition of a headwrap. Then properly attired we made our way to the second part of the marriage ceremony. The first part of the marriage ceremony had occurred the previous day and had centred around the bride and her family. The second part was to formalise the union between the bride and groom and to send them off to the groom’s family for further celebrations.

I had the privilege of being present with the bride and her inner circle of family and friends for photos but more importantly for the official consent to the marriage between the bride and the representatives from the mosque. While I am not certain, it appeared that the men had gathered and gone through a similar procedure before coming to the bride. The bride was then presented with the clothes that she was to wear when she left the celebrations. Each article of clothing was presented individually being waved around suggestively, including the undergarments. It was difficult to ascertain how the bride felt about the whole process. A little while later I was glad to escape the stifling heat inside the bedroom and to head outside.

I joined the ladies and we waited as the men were fed first and then when they were finished the women were fed. There was segregation of the men from the women and children. The groom then escorted the bride from the house to the canopied area that had been the domain of the bride and her attendants the previous day. The remainder of the celebration consisted of the cutting and sharing of the cake which the bride fed first to the groom and then to special guests, we received pieces of cake! Then it was time to present gifts by dancing forward to the bride and groom to lay them before them. Finally, the time came for the couple to depart…I have never seen so many people crammed into a vehicle with a bride and groom before! Unfortunately, before the vehicle left there was a lot of vigorous discussion that ended with the groom climbing out of the car and the bride in tears. It was at this point that we left the celebration as we had our next ceremony to attend.

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