Oh, love. Jumping the broom, trying the knot, the special day of every little princess, the final ‘I do’- the big wedding day. Many love cultures have their own traditions and customs for this wonderful and important day. Some of them may seem as strange, weird at best… but let’s see what the African and Korean culture has in hold!
African Love Culture
There are many African tribes, and even more African wedding traditions.
For example, Egyptian weddings are often arranged, nothing uncommon for those regions. The interesting part is that the bride-to-be buys her engagement ring herself! The groom-to-be gives her Mahr- this is money that’s going to be used for the ring and furniture. So not only is she buying a ring for herself, she’s also preparing their home for the future. She also needs to prepare herself for the pinching on her wedding day. It’s believed the pinching brings good luck!
The ceremony in Egypt starts with Zaffa music- this is like an African Wedding March. The bride arrives to a mosque or a church, with her beautiful gown and brilliant henna tattoos on her hands and feet. When it’s time for the wedding feast, the newly-weds sit on Kosha chairs which are raised on a platform.
In Kenya, the Masai nation has a bit stranger custom than just pinching. At the wedding ceremony, the father of the bride needs to bless her. To do so, he spits on her chest and head. Then she needs to leave with her husband, never looking back. Because if this is done while walking away with her husband, she will turn to stone!
If you think the spiting would be awkward, wait until you read this! The Swahili nation in Kenya, the bride is bathed in sandalwood oils, and then she can receive the henna tattoos on her hands and feet. While she’s getting these marks drawn, somo- an elder women from the tribe, educates her on how to satisfy her new husband. If that’s not weird enough, the somo also hides under the bed, just in case something goes wrong during the first wedding night.
Kenya is truly full of love cultures! A Samburu nation also lives here, and their preparations for a wedding are a bit more complex than the other.
The groom is expected to give presents- two goatskins, a milk container, two copper earrings, and a sheep. This is very important to both families and this step mustn’t be skipped.
Another super-weird Kenyan love culture is the polygamous Wodabee nation. Their tradition goes like this:
The groom’s family offers a price for the bride, to her family. If the price is accepted by the bride’s family, the couple may get married. They live together until the pregnancy- when this happens, the bride moves back with her parents.
She will live there for the next three or four years. With the birth of the baby, the bride becomes a boofeydo- this literally translates to ‘someone who has made a mistake or an error’. This means the women cannot see or speak to her husband, and the husband mustn’t express any interest for her or their baby.
Finally, after the baby has two or three years, the woman can visit her husband, but they still can’t live together. This will happen only when the woman’s mother buy everything that is needed for bride’s home. Only then she may return with her baby to her husband.
Korean Love Culture
In Korea, there are no engagements and proposals! In this love culture, everything about the wedding is decided jointly- the couple with their parents. Although the older generations of Korean couples don’t wear wedding rings at all, young couples are ‘breaking tradition’ and are wearing the wedding rings.
Because there aren’t any engagement rings, the only telltale sign of the future wedding is an occasion! It’s when the two families meet. This is due to the belief that marriage binds not only the couple, but the two families also.
Korean weddings are big! More than 500 guests are expected. But, there is a twist! The families don’t send out any invitations. It’s expected that if you’re a friend of the couple of a family friend, you’d just appear at the wedding. This is why their weddings are huge!
During a Korean wedding, the accent isn’t on the happy couple, but on the guests! And despite the rest of the world, this love culture allows only a few guests to spend the whole day at the wedding.
There are usually no bridesmaids or groomsmen, flower girls, or even ring bearer. Without any fuss, the wedding is consisted of a speech, a shot musical performance and of the kiss. That’s it!
To make the groom stronger for the first wedding night, there is an old love culture tradition. After the ceremony, his friends take off his socks, tie him up with a rope around his ankles, and beat the soles of his feet with dried yellow corvine (a type of fish)!
To see if their first-born is going to be a girl or a boy, the groom’s parents throw nuts and plums to the bride. If she takes some nuts, they’re going to have a son! It’s also believed if the groom is smiling a lot during the wedding, they’re going to have a daughter.
Not only the bride is going to have stuff thrown at her, they both are! The happy couple must be prepared for many objects being thrown at them and to them. The guests throw chestnuts to show respect, jujubes or dried red dates to symbolize diligence.
All money gifts must be in odd numbers! This is due the Korean belief they are associated with the positive yang energy.
All this is to prepare the couple for the future and wish them all the luck of the world. What a wonderful and strange love culture!