Black Relationships : Let's have a traditional wedding!!!

Discussion in 'Black Relationships' started by NNQueen, Jun 26, 2003.

  1. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In spite of statistics, marriage is not a thing of the past...yet. Black men and Black women are still marrying each other.

    What I'm curious about is, for those that are married already or plan to marry some day, how did you or how do you want to do it?

    Many of us follow in the European tradition when we get married. The ceremony, the vows, the music (during the ceremony), the dress/costumes worn, the food, etc.

    In recent years, I've heard about Black couples that include some form of afrocentric ritual in a European style ceremony, i.e., jumping the broom.

    But how many of us know or care to know about the African traditions involving marriage ceremonies? I wanted to know, so I did some brief research and found this site. Now I'm sure there are many others and lots more information out there. If you know of some good sites, please share. But, let's start with this one.

    Does it matter which tradition or ritual you follow when a couple comes together in marrige?

    http://www.africanweddingguide.com/resources/nubianwedding/introduction.html

    What do you think?

    Peace! :love:
     
  2. Regina

    Regina Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    A couple's wedding should reflect their beliefs and interests. It should be about the two who are getting married. Sometimes couples create their own traditions, by combining the faiths of the families. My mother is of the Christian faith (Protestant) and my father is of the Jewish faith (Orthodox). My significant other was raised in the Catholic Church, so our wedding will reflect all of the above.
     
  3. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My wedding was a mixture of African & European marriage customs. However like sister Regina said, weddings are deeply personal and should reflect individual beliefs. African weddings are beautiful. Although "jumping the broom" isn't an African tradition, it is a slave tradition. Slaves jumped the broom because they were denied the right to a "traditional" and legal marriage. Since we are no longer slaves, I see no need to continue this "tradition".

    In regard to true African weddings: There are many subtle differences between wedding ceremonies and traditions between the various African countries and cultures. One universal
    theme however, that one will find in most African wedding traditions is the total inclusion of family. Africans in general believe that a marriage is the joining of two families not just two individuals. It is essential that the two families know and respect each other. Most importantly it is important that the families have love for one another, if the married couple is to have a healthy and lasting relationship.

    For some specific African weddings: Among the Swahili in Kenya, marriages are arranged between two families. Before the actual wedding ceremony, the bride is bathed in oils and elaborate designs (known as henna) are painted on her arms. An elder woman teaches her how to please her husband, and what to expect in marriage.

    Among the Himba in Namibia, the members of the groom’s family take the bride before the ceremony, and dress her in a leather headdress (known as ekori). After the ceremony, the bride is taken to her husband’s house, where his families shows her, what is expected of her as his wife. Finally, the bride’s in-laws show their acceptance of her by bathing her in oils.

    Among the Mande in Sierra Leone, girls (usually between the ages of 12 and 18) attend schools to learn the art of being a wife. At these schools they learn secret codes to help them communicate with other married women, in order to ask advice about marriage. Before a wedding takes place among the Mande the elders of the village assemble with the bride to offer advice and bring gifts. The newly wed couple usually have banquets and ceremonies to celebrates their marriage several weeks after the actual ceremony. The couple will celebrate several weeks after consummating their marriage. This, in a broad sense, is the traditional style of wedding for these cultures.

    These are just a few (there are too many to list them all), but as you can see no broom jumping in the bunch.:D
     
  4. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yes, I think it goes without saying that a wedding is a very personal event and should flow according to a couple's beliefs. My point to this thread though was to explore how different people make their individual choices--based on what? Do people decide based on what they've always seen being done or do they choose based on a certain set of personal beliefs and why?

    Pan, you are correct. "Jumping the broom" during an African American wedding stems from a slave tradition. Where did that concept come from anyway? Was it because Black men/women during slavery, for the most part, weren't allow to marry legally according to Western culture and this simple act became symbolic of their union as husband/wife?

    What I find very interesting in what you wrote, Pan is, the fact that in many African cultural traditions, the woman was taught how to be a proper wife to her husband-to-be. How special that much time and effort is put into this training so that the woman can please her husband. What I'm really curious about though is knowing exactly what it is that she is taught and what pre-marital training does the man get on what it takes to be a proper husband?

    Henna...a fascinating cultural tradition. I never knew that it's like a language that is practiced in many different cultures and it represents different life changes or events.
    http://www.hennapage.com/henna/why.html

    A wedding does not a successful marriage make but it can be a symbol that represents the couple and what they believe in and let the public know that they are no longer individuals but now together as "one" in that belief.

    The fact that, in many African cultures families come together and form strong relationships around the marital couple says a lot to me. Maybe there is much that can be learned and drawn from our African heritage.
     
  5. Regina

    Regina Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    A man is taught to provide for and protect his family.
     
  6. Indra

    Indra Member MEMBER

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    Because i'm half suriname and half indian and i gonna marry with a half armenian and half jewisch man i decided to mix everything together and pick some rituals form other cultures as well. So after i get dressed with the help from the woman of my family and new family and i'm gonna walk 3,5 round with my husband behind me and 3,5 rounds me following my husband witch represent our 7 lives after dead together, with our whrist bined together to represent everybody our bond and that combined with the ritual of my mother giving me away to the other family and the other family recieving me and saying the words that i'm now a part of their family. I haven't figured it out completly now but if anyone can give my advice about some nice rituals i'm willing to hear them!
     
  7. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hi Indra and thank you for sharing with us how you invision your wedding. The ritual you described sounds very interesting. Hopefully others will share ideas or actual descriptions of their weddings as well.

    Peace and welcome to the forum! :)
     
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