Changes in Traditional Marriages
Nowadays, most of the customs connected with traditional marriages are disappearing. Formal education, Christianity, Islam, and other religions have influenced the marriage ceremony. For instance, most parents no longer wait for the husband to provide a trunk full of the wife’s clothing before they allow her to join her husband. Also in the Northern and Upper Regions where more than one cow is demanded, the number has now been reduced to enable more young men to marry.
Another change is that since most young people now work outside their hometowns and villages, the bride is not sent to the bridegroom’s house by her aunts or relatives. Instead, the man arranges for his wife to join him at his station. Some Christian and other religious groups as well as some educated people, after the customary rites, have weddings.
Nowadays, a Bible and a ring are added to the items presented to a Christian or educated woman at the “knocking” ceremony. The engagement ring is supposed to keep away other suitors. If for any reason the marriage does not take place, the engagement ring and the Bible are returned to him.
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