Traditional wedding is now referred to as “engagement”.
Then there is this thing called “wedding”. (One day I hope to have a big one)
Key word here is ‘traditional’ emanating from tradition.
Now when our ancestors ( I beg e bi like you no get some) were getting married, the process was lengthy. Negotiations were begun sometimes at birth for the would be parties. Careful observations were made by both sides- that is groom and bride. The intent among others was to make sure offspring brought into the world were healthy on entrance. No rings were exchanged. Our grandmothers and their forebears amassed authentic jewelry which they stored in earthenware jars and only brought out to adorn themselves on festive occasions or to give as marriage presents to their daughters when they also married.
Now that word “wedding” in itself must be researched. The etymology breaks down into two parts- the “pledge” and the “bet”. Find out more for yourself.
The knocking was first during which presentation and subsequent acceptance, a date was set for the marriage ceremony. In some areas, the newly minted couple had to consummate the marriage and show evidence of virginity of the bride.
There was no priest/pastor/minister or whatever then. (Hmm)
Today, with the advent of Christianity (which is a way of life, by the way), we call the our traditional marriage ceremony an engagement and thence proceed to encourage the young couple to lavishly spend on an activity of socialization that would last for only at most twelve hours over two days combined. In the days of yore, it could run for days into weeks depending on the wealth of the families as seen in cattle, goats and tubers of yam stored in huge barns.
Then I ask who we are as a people. For we cannot demean our tradition and still praise it. Think twice.
So far as that so-called traditional engagement takes place and the dowry is accepted by the bride’s family, and there are pastors/priests/ministers present to pray and grace the occasion, I, son of Kwabena Mensah, grandson of Ntem Kwasi Mensah, would not be a hypocrite and would forever see it as a binding marriage ceremony that allows the couple to go forth and multiply as the Good Book urges all couples to do.
Now let us not be myopic in our thinking and think for a second that we are so holy and pious. You are no more sanctified than I am. We are both sinners.
Let us be judged by God. Let us acknowledge our ancestors for they knew and we know not. Follow not blindly.
Kiss your bride!