I mentioned that “my daughters” were going to have a wedding reception, right? Well the event finally happened…and man was it something. Something, hmm. Not sure how else to describe it.
Traditionally, young couples move in together, and then they are married. The children who still follow and listen to their parents guidance, will arrange to have a village cultural leader and the church leaders come and bless it first. Other parents don’t know beforehand, and then the blessings may or may not happen afterwards. Anyways, my first daughter didn’t tell her parents ahead of time, but they were still in agreement, and had two different “blessing” type ceremonies. The second did tell her parents first, so they did the cultural and church blessings together. She’s young so her parents weren’t necessarily in agreement, though, but still followed through with their daughter’s wishes.
Anyways. Complicated, I know. But, actually quite a usual case from what I gather.
After the blessing ceremonies, the girls dad wanted to throw them a reception type thing. They’d already been married for months, but were still planning on having the reception. Its not traditional, but its becoming more and more the norm. The young girls are growing up, looking at their older sisters/cousins/friends having these parties, and dreaming of doing something like it. We agreed to help out some since, after all, they are my daughters. My friend and I made over a thousand cookies, three cakes, and almost 200 cupcakes (and it was still short). We also gave a little bit to help them rent their clothes (probably wouldn’t do that again…) And, I listened for weeks as the girls chattered about all of the plans.
I, also, reluctantly agreed to do their henna. I love doing henna, its so much fun drawing the flowery designs, I did it for a lot of events in America. BUT, if I do it for my girls, how many more girls are going to want me to do it for them? And, its such an import of someone else’s culture. A part of me wants them to strengthen and fortify THEIR culture, and not just import everyone else’s, creating a strange conglomeration. Actually, that was probably my problem with everything. It seemed like everything was just an imitation of something someone else had done. I know, white girls in America doing henna is just the same kind of imitation. But, America is a melting pot…here its still seems sort of pure. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all…I’m still thinking it through.
Their friend came up to do their make-up, hair, jewelry, and clothes. Wow. “Bling, bling” was all I could think…I sure wish I knew how to say that in my new language. The girls looked really nice, almost doll-like, if not terribly uncomfortable. They had to have their faces and neck SHAVED for the makeup! And they only ate rice all day, because the make-up lady said they couldn’t eat broth dishes for fear that would cause it to rain.
While we were waiting for everything to start, the boys and I had a lot of fun walking around the market, enjoying the carnival like atmosphere. People were selling fun toys, candy, glow sticks, balloons, jello, snacks. I let the boys go a bit crazy with their two dollars a piece.
Then the main event. They had invited the local politicians who are in a run up to the new elections, so it was a lot of politics. And, they had hired a band. It was great music, crazy clothes. All thousand plus of us spectators were shocked by the short skirts. Halfway through the girls changed again into big, huge dresses. I wish I had pictures, once again bling bling!
Unfortunately, we decided to leave relatively early (I don’t let G watch singers like that), so we missed out on the dancing and partying. It was probably fun.
I don’t know what the fall-out from it will be. I don’t know what this generation will follow…this new partying crazy culture…or will they stand strong? I know what direction they are already going. So, how can we help them?