Friday, November 21, 2008

The Introduction

The pastor of the orphanage chapel is getting married in several weeks. While the wedding is important, in Ugandan culture it is not as important as the Introduction. We were invited to go to Pastor Michael's introduction. As we were told more and more about it, we began to realize it would be also an "introduction" for our family into another aspect of Ugandan culture. The Introduction is the time when the bride and groom bring their family and friends together to meet one another. It is also the time when the groom "pays" for his wife, typically with livestock, household goods and whatever the bride's family requests according to her value. In this case, Pastor brought seventeen gift baskets (with an assortment of breads, fresh produce, tubs of butter, etc), a live chicken, money for a goat, a sofa set (in lieu of the cow), and bags of sugar, salt and rice. He also brought a suitcase for his bride to use in moving with him and gift bags for all the many family members.

Here are some pictures of our time there:

We got the kids outfits made for the occasion and the girls even got their hair done. Unfortunately, things were too crazy to get a family picture that night.

Mark was asked to be the best man for the groom. Mark had originally declined, saying he needed to be with his family for such a new experience, but when we got there we discovered he was still expected to be the best man. Here is a picture of him and our pastor, the groom. (Ugandans typically look away with a straight face as a sign of humility - he really is happy!)

The kids were getting restless, so when we saw some people getting up to get some of the gifts, Claudia and I sent our kids out to help. Titus choose to go sit with his dad but the girls and Claudia's 3 girls carried gift baskets in on their heads.

Some of the men trying out the new sofa set.

Titus came to join Mark and Pastor.

Have to include a beautiful picture of the bride, "Precious Rita" as Pastor Michael calls her.


Amrita said...

Oh, you know this is quite similar to our Indian pre-wedding ceremony....except for the bride price. The girl 's parents arrange for her dowry.But the groom gives gifts to the bride and the family.

In the N E parts of India they have bride price in the matriacal family system.

I love the photos.The kids look so sweet. Let 's see Amy too.

The bride is very pretty.

What kind of food did you have? Was there a wedding cake?

The Fish Family said...

We loved reading about this unique cultural thing and the photos are just super! What a neat time for your family to remember always.