Weddings, weddings and more weddings

Rwandans are generally in the business of loving weddings especially the women. It’s like we were born to dress up every Saturday and sometimes Sunday, in beautiful mishanana and dresses. It seems all natural. 

Rwandans are generally in the business of loving weddings especially the women. It’s like we were born to dress up every Saturday and sometimes Sunday, in beautiful mishanana and dresses. It seems all natural. 

I was born without this gene.

 

I do not enjoy weddings at all especially the way Rwandans do them. I respect the fact that your parents paid for your wedding so every single Tom and Jane gets to be at your wedding, but where is the romance, the personal moments, the father-daughter dances, the mother-son dances, speeches from your closest friends about awkward but memorable moments from school, etc.

 

I know these are all very western traditions but we have made the church and reception part of our culture so let’s do it right. Another reason I do not like weddings in Rwanda is because people expect me to like them.

 

They assume because I was born a woman, I will enjoy getting up in front of a bunch of people in heels and serve drinks the whole night instead of listening to the thousands of boring speeches (maybe there are a few good ones), they think because I’m a woman, I want to do protocol.

I get why people do it, I really do and I admire the women who actually enjoy these tasks at weddings but my issue is why invite me to do work you can pay someone else to do? Grab a server’s uniform and pay me and then we will be good, but you want free labour and parade me around? I don’t think so.  

I love Rwandan weddings for one reason and one reason only. We have managed to maintain a lot of our traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation and this is one of the few places our culture is still very strong. I ignore the sexism and patriarchal aspect of this and really do enjoy them.

I just hope people will stop being surprised that I do not want to serve or do protocol at the wedding of someone I have met once and that I would rather chill at home. Or that I do not attend every wedding simply because my friends are going. I have to have a personal relationship with this person for me to attend their wedding and for future reference, do not attend my wedding if we have never exchanged words.

I cannot wait for my wedding one day with all my closest family and friends, drinking, eating and dancing all night long and making new memories with my new husband.

I want to look at the pictures and recognise every single person in them and not wonder about the random person sitting next to my aunt or that my best friends didn’t find a seat because my parents filled the place with a bunch of people they run into and randomly invited without asking (true story, I have been to a wedding like this, luckily the cocktail area kept me busy).

I simply hope that one day, people will see weddings for what they really are and respect them and honour them by not attending weddings they are not invited to. For some of us, we will only have one wedding and I want it to mean something so this is why I respect my acquaintance’s wedding and do not attend.

What do you 21st century women think?

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