White Wedding in Itsoseng #10: The Feast

This was the main event.

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 As we got near the Molale home after the wedding, the bridal party got into the back of the pickup trucks, so everyone could see the as they paraded toward the reception tent.

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Among the throng greeting them as they approached the tent were the women, still in their aprons, who had been preparing the feast.

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The wedding party paraded into the tent, dancing.

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The tent was huge. We think that there were 25 tables, with ten seats at each table.   In addition to the throne area, there were some couches for comfortable seating.  There was an extension to the main tent that for lounging that essentially occupied front yard of a neighbor.

As we entered, the master of ceremonies assured the people, that although there was not room for everyone inside the tent, all were welcome to participate in the celebration.  There were many more people in the throng outside the tent than had been explicitly invited by the Molales.  2015-01-17 13.48.28

Dinanas, who had hosted my wife and I for the week, arrived with her own little dance.  My wife Footie posed with one of ladies that she had met earlier in the week.

Once inside, there was much that Americans would find familiar.  There was a DJ with an excellent sound system blasting away, making any conversation nearly impossible.

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 As honored guests, we sat at a table in the middle, near the throne, with the parents of the groom.  This couple, a Molale cousin and his girl friend, sat down with us, and the MC tried to get him to move, saying this table was reserved for the family.  His response: “We are all one family now.”  I nodded in agreement, and they were allowed to stay.

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Given all of the multisyllabic Tswana names that easily roll off of the tips of their tongue, I was amused that the MC admitted how difficult he found it to pronounce “Potticary” correctly.

Here the MC is telling people to open the champaign that was on each table.  The fathers of the bride and groom each offered a toast, as did I.

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The buffet included the meat from the animals slaughtered for the occasion and plenty of vegetables.  As honored guests, we were allowed to serve ourselves and take as much as we wanted.  Others, including people outside the tent, were served.  We estimate that they fed about 400, all in all.

2015-01-17 15.09.28Wedding Day_168Of course, there was plenty of dancing.  At one point, the infirm, elderly lady that my wife Footie had talked to earlier in the week grabbed her hand and started dancing with her.  “Do you know what this song means?”, she asked.  “Stepping out together!”  She only lasted a couple of minutes, and had to sit down.  Almost immediately, someone else grabbed her to start dancing.  “You know what this song means?  Stepping out together!”

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After the meal, the wedding party and the parents left the tent to go change.  In the meantime, we were entertained by a traditional Tswana dance troupe.<video> .

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After a while, the wedding party returned in their traditional African outfits.  They had another entrance, so of course, they danced

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Tsholofelo and her mother, Kerileng

Wedding Day_171 Wedding Day_131The parents in their matching traditional African outfits. (On the way home, Tepu had this African hat attached to her carryon bag.  As we left the plane in Paris, a young South African woman came up to her and asked, “Where did you get that cute hat?”) Wedding Day_143

Lots of people wanted to have their pictures with the westerners.. Wedding Day_139

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Here I am with a beautiful young woman on each arm.  (The next day at the gas station, the clerk said that she had seen me at the wedding. “You looked like you were having a good time.”)

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They cut the cake and fed each other.  Then, both bride and groom fed their in-laws.

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Presents were opened at the ceremony.

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Finally, those who had represented the families in the magadi, the newlyweds, and their parents retired to the privacy of the Molale living room.  Here we all imparted our wisdom to the young couple.  Several of us discussed the inevitable conflicts that arise between husband and wife.  We spent less time on the joys of marriage.  The theme from the preacher’s sermon, that the “woman is the crown to her husband”, came up again.  The westerners did not contradict this directly.  Rather, we talked about the difficulties they were going to face in reconciling two different visions of what marriage is supposed to be, without attempting to define the western ideal.  In all, the atmosphere was congenial but serious.

When we emerged from our session, the party had broken up.

What a spectacular celebration!

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2 thoughts on “White Wedding in Itsoseng #10: The Feast

  1. Pingback: White Wedding in Itsoseng: Contents | jplund

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