Monday, December 24, 2007

Rwandan Wedding Celebration!

Yesterday was our wedding celebration in Rwanda. It was an incredible experience, and we wanted to share a few pictures. Any Rwandan elements that were missed in our wedding in the US were included in this ceremony!
traditional Rwandan clothes

The ceremony included many elements of a traditional dowry ceremony in Rwanda. The two ‘families’ were represented ‘elders’ from AEE and Urewgo who ‘negotiated’ the union. Fortunately, they were able to come to an agreement, despite the Urwego elder’s request for at least 100 cows. :)

The cutting of the cake and feeding each other the “first bite” are important ritualistic elements in Rwandan elements as well. After cutting the cake, we served the members of each other’s “family,” symbolizing the significance of hospitality in our home.

A Rwandan Christian dance troupe from a local church came and performed at the ceremony. With loud beats from the drum coupled with exuberant singing, women and then men dancers performed some of the most elaborate and skilled dancing we have yet to see in Rwanda. As we suspected, they invited us into the dancing.

Antoine and Bob dancing

The dancers presented several traditional gifts to us. The picture below is of a wooden container of milk. Milk implies a desire for a home blessed with many children.

AEE, Urwego and Le Rucher all presented gifts to us. Pictured below is Antoine Rutayisire presenting us a gift from the AEE Rwanda team.

We felt so honored to be celebrated and loved by our friends and “Rwandan families” here. We truly felt immersed in Rwandan culture, feeling a deeper connection with the people and their traditions.