March 20, 2013
Oliver has a friend in the community that has been working on various media projects-making movies of preschool graduations and selling the DVDs to parents, making music videos, and even working on writing a movie script with his friends. He was invited to a traditional wedding to take video and make DVDs to sell. He invited Oliver and I along for technical support and to take part in the festivities.
We’ve been to one other wedding shortly after we first arrived. We didn’t know anyone and weren’t quite sure what was going on so we were happy to have the opportunity to attend once more before we left.
The wedding is a three day process; Friday to Sunday. To get married, a man has to negotiate with the woman’s family to set the lobola. Lobola refers to the cows that a man will give a woman’s family to seal the deal. A good number is about 13, I guess. I was once told I could have gotten 20 cows because I have a university education (but in reality I was lucky enough to get a diamond ring). Gathering this amount of wealth can take years, so usually the couple live together and have children before the wedding actually takes place. There are other customs involved too, but they are ones I don’t understand (I know one has to do with a river).
The Saturday night dancing is when the whole community is invited to the celebration; Friday and Sunday events are for a much smaller group of people. Saturday afternoon, everyone who has traditional wear puts it on, heads to the homestead, and the men and women take turns dancing. And of course, Oliver too. There’s not much else to say about the dance, it’s hard to describe, so I’ll add a lot of pictures and see if you can spot the white guy dancing.
Oliver is our new hero, he looks so totally at home! :)
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