Friday, October 2, 2009

A Big Traditional Xhosa Wedding



After being in Grahamstown for only a few hours I was invited to a wedding!!! I really don’t know if i could be any luckier. Ntobekhaya Is the head teacher at the after school program. When Matt took me to meet her my first afternoon in Grahamstown I met here daughter Thembesa, with in seconds of meeting me she invited Matt and I to her wedding which was this past Wednesday. It was a traditional Xhosa wedding what an experience! There was a small catch to our save the date, we needed to bring our cameras and take as many photos as possible. This was fine with me, this way i wouldn’t feel rude taking pictures of everything. We met everyone at Ntobekhaya’s were most of the women were dressed in traditional wear some even with their faces painted. everyone was singing an dancing out side the house waiting for Thembesa to come out. Then when she was ready the women went inside and lead here out singing and dancing.


We then all walked to our decorated cars and in a caravan  with are warning lights blinking honked are way through the township on our way to the Methodist church.


When we got there the grooms family was there singing and dancing as well.The bride and here family (still singing and dancing) went to the back of the church while the groom’s family was in the front by the altar singing and dancing but to different songs. then Instead of the whole father walking the daughter down the isle, her father walked her down the isle but her entire family was behind them singing. Later in the service after the vows, the two families start out on opposite sides of the front singing different songs then they slowly join together singing and dancing to the same song. The rest of the time the two families sing the same songs as one.

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It was the coolest wedding I've ever been to. The way the songs are all songs they’ve known from a early age and they know hundreds by heart. Something that important in a culture used to symbolize not only the joining of two families but the creation of a new family. I only hope that I will have more opportunities like this one it was truly something very special and something i will remember for ever.

Still Walking,


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