Friday, November 19, 2010

The Dowry!

What does it take to get married???? Two goats, a kerosene lantern, fabric, shoes, tie, socks, suit, a large bowl, pot , gold bracelets and necklace, sucre, beer and etc. and $1,500.00 and a bargaining counsel.
Here we are with Thierry, our mission office manager and one of the AP's, Elder Mutombo, outside of the Mission Office.
We are ready for the big Dowry Ceremony!!
We are driving down the road. It is very difficult to take pictures here. Many people don't like you to take pictures of them. They like to get paid if you take pictures, so I must discretely do this.
We are getting closer!
We are here. They set these tables, mostly for us. They were very excited for the white people to come. They were honored we came. I wish I could have gotten more pictures, at first I was timid until I realized they loved having us there. Many children came running to us they were so excited. These chairs were rented so we would have something to sit on. It was dark also and they had a generator running one light bulb.
Here is Fils. He is so excited. He had to give money to the family to let him in. They also hid his fiance, but fortunate for him they had to hurry the ceremony along because it would be dangerous for us to be out too late, so they were kind to Fils and didn't hide his fiance too long.
This is Fils's soon to be new brother-in-law. He welcomed us and was very kind to us. Now on to the bartering!
I just liked these women sitting there, so I took this picture. This is the home of the bride to be.
They are waiting for the bargaining to start. They cannot be apart of the bargaining. They both have representatives that bargain for them. They have purchased the items on the dot and now it is up to the bargaining table to barter the items and the money!
Here we are inside the home. It was nice and clean. These are the men who did the bargaining. I wish I could have gotten the picture of Fils Stake President, President Lono. He was amazing! He spoke with such authority and with the spirit as far as trying to teach the purpose of marriage and love and not starting a marriage in debt especially to family.(Most of the family is not members of the Church) He was in the darkest part of the house and well the lighting was not good and well, my camera would not focus on him, it couldn't find him.
More bargaining.
The dot is complete. About 45 minutes went by with extensive bargaining. The money was passed to Fils, who passed it to his fiance, who gave it to her father and now they are MARRIED ($400 in the envelope, owing $400 more before the civil marriage)

It is official. They are married according to family tradition. They will have a civil ceremony to make it legal.
I am praying they can make it to the temple soon. This is a hardship when you have to come up with so much for the dowry. The Johannesburg Temple does have a fund to help them, but there is still an amount that is difficult, like passport/visa etc.
This was a wonderful evening I shall never forget.


Megan Hatch said...

How interesting! They must be great. I hope they can make it to the temple soon:)

echo said...

it is so cool that you and dad get to experience so many amazing things out there. what a wonderful experience for you.

Matthew Hatch said...

It's so incomprehensible how different things are across the world. What a neat event to be a part of. :) We love you.

Matthew Hatch said...

Dad in the african shirt with bananas makes my day.

Laura said...

Banana Ben

Kyle said...

You guys obviously love the people because they love you back. I wish I was there with you guys!!!! Can I come pick you guys up when you finish you're mission?

dixie said...

Yes, Skudi Come Come!!!

dixie said...

Yes, Skudi Come Come!!!

Daryl Olsen said...

I think Ben is having the time of his life and even with his wife who seems to be also in the groove.
Love ya