Traditional Marriage Rites: Anioma is Losing It.


One of biggest influence of western civilization on African culture is the usurpation of morals, norms, values, mores, and traditions.
Recently, the devastating impart of this acculturation is felt in the culture that pertains to funeral and marital rites.
On numerous occasions, I had to explain to someone from my hometown that there's no such thing as "second burial" in Ubulu-Uku or Anioma culture.
A person is only buried once and digging a grave and enclosing the dead in it is not burial in our culture. The rites that follow the internment is the funeral itself.
Nowadays, people who wish to marry are plagued by all kinds of financial burden, whereas in the traditional society, the peers of the groom and family contribute to the success of the marriage ceremony. 
The craze for White Wedding which symbolizes another culture's traditional marriage has grown and this is not without the numerous expenses that comes with it which includes:
Renting a reception venue, hiring the services of an Emcee, baking a wedding cake, procuring a wedding gown for the bride, suits to match with the Chief bridesmaid, bestman, bridal train and groom's men, not to mention the flower girls and the little bride and groom (usually the ring 💍bearers).
In view of all these financial obligations and the "must fit in" pressure from the society, many young men have remained single, thereby increasing the number of single parents in the society. 
Some families have even worsened the matter by insisting the calibre of marriage programmes that will be "acceptable" by them.
The church which should be a place for consecration of marital vows has now replaced the traditional institution.
The Royal Wedding recently held in England is a pointer to the fact that Nigerian weddings have taken a dangerous dimension contrary to what is obtainable in that part of the world.
Photospeaks: (credit;Gooogle). 

Before things fell apart, two families who want to go into consanguinity relationship can converge on an "ọgwa" (hall), dialogue, negotiate the dowry of the girl child after two prior visits and necessary background checks. The success of such meeting is carried on to the last big ceremony which is called "ịgba manya ogwodogwodo". 
Again, it is not in Anioma culture that our bride will carry a cup of wine to search for her husband. 
No!
However, the "ịgba manya ogwodogwodo" is no more in practice. It is either they fix a wedding and use the reception ground to cover up for it or it is totally ignored. 
They secretly do the in-house marriage, sometimes alluding to "a prophet asked us not to do it elaborately to avoid house hold enemies". 
But they go ahead to host a huge wedding.  

A catechist once told me that after a traditional marriage, a wedding can be organised without all the flamboyance and luxury that epitomizes the modern day wedding. 
So, I wonder why the craze? 
Is it to show off or is it that most of those who do the luxurious weddings could afford it? 
Truly, if people understood that traditional marriage, "ịgba manya ogwodogwodo" is a wedding with the oldest man in the kingdom as the presiding Bishop, they will stop sponsoring two weddings in one lifetime. 
"As for me, I cannot underplay my culture and glorify another man's culture. I think it'll be right to marry the traditional way. Later, the couple can organise and go to church to bless and dedicate the union," Onwordi Ngozi Fortune.

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