Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Cousin's Wedding - Nigerian Style

At long last I'm getting back on track sharing our experience in Nigeria. You can click on the "Nigeria" theme to the left to see previous posts.

I had been to a Nigerian wedding before prior to Mr. Love Bird and I being married, but was excited to actually attend a wedding in Nigeria during our trip. I was given fabric and told to create a dress of any style - my mom made my dress and a smaller dress for Nia. We had Mr. Love Bird's wedding attire made in Harlem. I'm very sad that we didn't have a family photo of us, but I was so distracted during our trip due to my fractured ankle (I was in A LOT of pain), frustration with Nia's frequent nursing and being in a new place/very hot weather. It was a lot to deal with.  

At the wedding celebrations at the bride's family compound
We attended both Nigerian traditional celebrations at both the bride and groom's home as well as a white wedding at a church. At the church several couples were married at once as December is a popular homecoming time for Nigerians all over to return to their hometowns. The churches get very booked so brides and grooms have their ceremonies altogether. 

The bridal party lining up for the procession

Nia did her best keeping up with me and my bum ankle during the procession - the bride is in orange

The procession of the mother of the bride's family and friends
Food preparation was continuing behind the scenes for the hundreds of guests 

Mr. Love Bird in the groom's procession - not as good looking as the ladies'!

Next was the white wedding . . .

Our cousin, the bride and her groom
With cousins after the ceremony

Nia found a little playmate outside the church
I wasn't doing too well with my swollen ankle and had a hard time keeping up with Nia

The parade of brides at the church

After the white wedding we went to the groom's family compound for another reception: 

This was the chief - an important community dignitary, and I believe a family relation
Everyone was seated under tents to shade from the sun
The expansive view off the back of the groom's family compound
To start the festivities we dipped vegetables in kola nut sauce and had wine; the dipping was bitter tasting.

Our cousins
A few other notes . . .

We had also celebrated in New York City with the bride and groom a few weeks before leaving for Nigeria - it was a season of celebration!

The food at the receptions was generally rice and meat. We drank plenty of bottled water or pure water (little pouches - kinda like a boob, as Mr. Love Bird called them!). Nia liked sucking the water out of the them (gee, I wonder why???). Before leaving, my father-in-law had told me to drink Coke while in Nigeria and although I despise it stateside it is delicious in Nigeria thanks to being made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. It's highly addictive and I couldn't get enough - in the glass bottle, that is! It's rarely seen in a can.

Most ceremonies were conducted in English but people speak Igbo to each other. Uka wasn't taught Igbo growing up but we were given a few key phrases as greetings. We would like to improve our Igbo using this program in time for our trip Christmas 2013.

You can view our entire Nigeria trip album here. I'm slowly adding captions to put things in context, but if you have any questions about this post, others, or what you'd like for me to cover coming up please post in the comments below.

Here's what I have planned for future Nigeria posts:
  • Does natural hair exist in Nigeria?
  • Mothering in Nigeria
  • Our visit to my father-in-law's family village
  • Class and colorism 
  • Our favorite Nigerian meals
  • Infrastructure