Let me tell you something we (bloggers) don’t tell you; sometimes, we run out of things to say, then we get a sudden epiphany or an inspiration from the people or things around us. Other times, you have things to say but you question its validity. Considering everyone has their own personal opinion on that thing that you’re about to write on, yet you’re putting your opinion out there for it to be judged. It’s a tough hobby this one, but fun all the same because you put your mind out there.
Where the old school people at? Remember Soul II Soul’s – Back to Life? They had such cool rhythms and flows then, that when you think of a word, the lyrics all come flowing, even if you’re poor at cramming lyrics like I am. I just thought of “back to life” and the next thing that came along was “back to reality” and a tune to back it up. Also, made me think of LPs and how cool they were and if they’re available anymore, even on the olx.com.gh’s of this world, they’d make good keepsake’s now. Took me back for a moment there.
Anyhow, I divert. This weekend we did our 1st traditional visit – I was in the clouds, now I’m back to life. You know where the fiancé comes over with his boys and his uncles to book his girl (for lack of a better way to say it), state their intentions and discuss the way forward in terms of dowry and the marriage that follows. It was a new experience and quite interesting too given the . Life is about learning, unlearning and re-learning – that’s one thing I appreciate about it. There are things they never teach you in school and this weekend I got a dose of what they didn’t teach me, our culture and its importance.
I always wondered why folks made a big deal about the culture. I didn’t think it’s necessary at some point, I thought it was just a way of them making the process hard for you, you know like their parents did. At the mention of culture I cringed, because of the stories I’ve heard. Stories about the bride’s family extorting the groom’s family. I always wondered why people in the western world just went ahead and dated, engaged and got married without any internal processes taking place. Maybe I got that wrong, because I’ve never actually been in one or know a friend who told me the story, it’s what I saw in movies.
I won’t lie, I wasn’t nervous at first because I know my family. I know my parents, my aunties and my uncles, but the more I let the thought of “what if the stories I hear come closer home”, I started becoming nervous. Then I expressed my fear to my parents and aunts and I loved how they taught me this lesson.
Like a girl attending a basics class on tradition and culture 101, they first explained to me how theirs went down. They were all so funny, because none of them were even there, their parents are the ones who carried out the process because they were far but had identified their spouses, but for them to go ahead and get married, the families first had to meet, know where each other is from and create a bond. And this is what the introduction, dowry and many other process did.
Every society has a culture. Culture is made up of traditions, beliefs, and ways of life, from the most spiritual to the most material. It gives us meaning, a way of leading our lives. Without which we’ll lose ourselves and the core of who we really are. Culture is just not another adornment or accessory that we human beings can use, it’s what makes us human. Culture helps us to define our relationships and engagements with our immediate family and the society at large. It’s also what helps us grow the bond between the different societies, by allowing them to identify with others of similar mindsets and backgrounds. The meeting and mutual respect between two different cultures and how they merge to become one big family.
This weekend, I am proud that my family finally connected with my fiancé’s family and that by living up to our different cultures, we were united. And truth be told, now that it all makes so much sense, when I have kids, I will make sure that we do the same. It’s something to be proud of, especially when done with respect and love … it depicts appreciation to the parents for raising you and that you still want your family (from both sides) to be a part of you. This was just the beginning of many more to come, looking forward.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*