Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Rwandan Wedding, Part Three

Our last stop for the day (we opted out of part five and will try to meet once more with the couple tomorrow).  Reception was at yet another building, and started at 5:00 and ended at 8:00.  This is where you will typically have up to 400 or 500 guests.  We were told that although you invite everyone you know to the whole day, people pick and choose what they attend.  And we can see why!  Each ceremony was between two and 3 hours long, with driving and much waiting in between.  This being our first and only African wedding, we soaked up as much as we could.

The stage for the wedding party.  And yes, those are bright white lights.  

We got a bit confused throughout the day as to who was in the wedding party, but we did notice that at each different ceremony, the main people had on different outfits.

Live band, stirring up an occasional spontaneous dance from whoever wanted to come up front and have some fun. There was also an emcee, who really kept things moving.  In the middle of yelling many 'ahh-haa!'s.  Still not sure what that meant, but it was very un-western, very loud, and very fun.

Cutting the cakes.  After the relatives were served (and that included us!), these cakes were cut into small pieces, piled on platters, and handed out row by row during the ceremony.

The most fun part of the reception was the gift-giving.  Groups of people could walk up to the front, grab a mike, and explain what gift they brought and why, and then give a little speech to the bride and groom.  There were co-workers, church members, neighbors, relatives, and my favorite - fellow genocide survivors.

The gifts ranged from baskets of fruit to big boxes.  The fruit was symbolic for either a fruitful life or past fruit in their lives.

When all the gifts had been given, Egide called us up and had our friend Moses explain to the audience that we were his sponsors, and he gave us gifts to take home, expressing his thanks.  I'm not posting the photo with me in it because I look really bad in it- eyes half closed, tired end of the day hair, you know those kind of photos.  So you'll just have to imagine me here smiling beautifully, not one bit tired.
 Kenny gave a little speech along with our gift to Egide and his new wife.  And if you know my husband, you know it was funny.  Even to the Rwandans!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that must have been amazing. What an experience!