Monday, October 11, 2010

Nigerian Wedding- Chris and Catherine

On Saturday, September 25th, 2010 two of our friends from church, Chris and Catherine married. It was our first Nigerian wedding, and we were guests of honor. They had special outfits made for us, of the Niger Delta style, Igbo Land. The wedding was to begin at 10am prompt, but started just before 1pm. The bride and groom select and sell a special Nigerian wax boutique fabric which guests are to buy in order to support the newly weds. DO you like my hat? Isn't it rediculous?! Anyhow, it was traditional, and I had many complements from the locals. Gordon and the cute little flower girls, they were prancing and posing- really enjoying the attention. The wedding began 3 hours late and the ceremony lasted about 30 minutes. Following the ceremony, we gathered in the cultural hall, in the back of the church chapel. There we were served dinner, chicken and pork with jallof rice (a long grain white rice served with spicy red peppers). The couple danced in to the tune of Simply the Best by Tina Turner, a personal favorite. During the reception, guests were expected to dance and then people would come up and shower them with money (depending on their skills) and the newly weds got to keep the money. They have special dances, for the fathers of the bride and groom, then the mothers, then all the family members, then friends, etc. The most popular of all the dances was a performance by the Grandmother of the Bride, who seemed to barely be able to stand up and walk forward but then bounded into a rhythmic step which had the crowd on their feet cheering and throwing down lots of paper. A nice basket was plenty full by the end of everyone's performance. There was a cake which was cut but not shared with the guests. Special witnesses gathered around the cake and gave their opinions of the symbolism represented by the way in which the cake was cut and how the bride and groom fed each other the first slices. Then the cake was carried away? Finally, people showered the couple with gifts and in return were given practical favors, we received a mixing bowl. It was overall a happy day and nice celebration of unity.

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