Sunday, June 14, 2009

and a wedding

what a difference...
so this week a friend offered to take me to wedding.
I was excited.
A Muslim wedding - he pointed out. I didn't know what that meant. In a sense - should I prepare, dress, behave some special way?
In any case - I couldn't, even if i wanted to.
I am SERIOUSLY low on clothes. It's been raining every night and some days in lats five days, and my clothes never dried.
So I put on my only clean dress - (Mensah picked the fabric for me, and Josephine made a dress), and went on.
The wedding was in Aflao, so we took a trotro there. Turned out we arrived early (the part for men was over with, and the past for women and the final joint one hasn't yet begun) so we took a walk in the village. WONDERFUL!!!
We went to the beach, I climbed the coconut tree (well, almost, but I made a brave attempt), drank coconut water, took wonderful shots, dipped my feet, OK legs into the ocean, had cold Castle (delicious dark Ghanaian beer) at the beach bar, listen to Ghanaina music from the 60s, took more pictures (or hot boys swimming - OMG. OOOO MMMM GGGGGG!!!!!) (and some beautiful village children (girl LOVE to pose, boys too, but they pretend they don't care, just shoot their ball with extra spice), and then at some point we returned to the wedding.
The girls started celebrating.
No men were allowed. So I went in (it's all outdoors, but I went into the area - a space between the houses, with some benches set-up in a square and a set of five HUGE speakers, all set up on top of one another (???).
No live music. Just loud pop. Beyonce. Akon. Sean Paul. 2Face. A few more I by now recognize but haven't memorized the names yet. Local bands.
Girls dancing. Me shooting.
Until,someone shouted form the megaphone - white woman, come out and dance. We want the white woman to dance.
And so I did.
What else could I have done?
So I danced with 3 sisters.
I didn't disappoint.

In a while the Bride came out (she was not allowed to exit the house for the last 3 days).
Wearing all pink. Danced a bit. A few men rushed on the "stage" and showered her with money.
Then she came back in.
the other girls continued dancing.
After a while the bride came out again. This time wearing blue.
More men came out, crowded her and her girlfriends from all sides and more money was thrown. One of the lades surrounding the bride was collecting the bills into a bucket.
At one point the bride sat down - I was able to get close to her and took a glimpse of her - she appeared to be in a trance of some sort.
From there, the girls started escorting her towards her house.
A big crowd was following.
I was right there, trying to get a good coverage.
(something I've been enjoying lately. my new role. milica - the reporter. sometimes i get confused by so many roles here. Milica the teacher. milica the ambassador. milica the reporter. milica the student. Should I focus?)

In a while, the whole thing turned pretty violent. The crowd all entered the brides family front yard.
I couldn't understand why, but all of a sudden there was pushing and pulling and yelling and men fighting and animals screeching.
I got pushed by a goat and kicked by a man.
The bride was crying.
One man was pushed out.
I got nervous.
More so - disappointed.
If last weeks event, a funeral, was was one of the happiest, most festive events I have ever seen - I imagined the wedding would be even more so.
But it was quite bitter actually.
Oswald explained it to me later- the groom family was supposed to pay a certain sum of money for the Bride before they would take her away.
Some Friends or family of the groom's tried to get inside the house and take the bride by force.

He told, me - oh, don't worry, it's normal. It's part of the tradition.
C'mmon. It was SCARY!

Also today - there was another ceremony I attended in the same village - a Christian worship ceremony. about a 100 people marched around, sand and played drums and BRASS instruments (haven't seen one here yet!). At one point they walked by the Muslim wedding.
It was a wonderful meeting of two culture peacefully passing one another.

No problem there - got a good video snippet of that.


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