In the 19th century in Holland, the bridal shower was initiated as an alternative to dowry system. Friends and families gave small favours to the bride to help her begin her married life. This was an illustration of a Dutch story of a young, high society girl who fell in love with a miller’s son. The father threatened to disown the girl and withhold her dowry, if she would pursue the boy. When the girl’s friends heard of this, they bought lots of gifts to help the friend start her new married life. The dad was so touched by the action that he accepted the reunion.
In our tribe, if a boy likes a girl, he has to go speak to his parent to go and visit the lady’s home. The lady’s family will organise two ceremonies, the first of which is called posa (introduction of the two families). Then you have to agree on the dowry depending on both sides. The boy would give dowry as a token of appreciation. Nowadays, things are really different; bride prize would be asked depending on the girls level of education, her beauty as well as her status. The kitchen party was a celebration for the bride to be taught what to do in marriage. An experienced lady will teach you how to cook, clean and take care of a man in the bedroom. Marriage was sacred, precious and forever. The Romeo and Juliet style. Nowadays, it seems like a business and a competition for some people. We have lost our traditions.
Even though we still have kitchen parties, they are sometimes replaced with the name bridal shower and I guess with the internet and all parents don’t teach a lot about marriage. Some even end up eloping and celebrating later. However, I still think its up to the couple to decide what they will have.
We have this special thing we do the day of the wedding, a guy would be asked for something uncommon at the door. Sometimes we would take different women, cover them with a lesso (traditional big scarf ties around the waste) then the husband would be told to identify the wife. The whole process is just for fun, at least it’s the only custom that we still seem to follow.
The bride will as well be decorated with henna as in the picture above as much as she wants. They will completely cover the bride, you will not be able to see any part of her. ”Where there’s love there is life,” [Mahatma Ghandi]