Cross cultural experience Season one

There is always the first. Even the word of God as you read, the first mention has a deep meaning and sets the pace of the proceeding events…

On this material day, I initially had planned to see a friend but she got other commitment. Anywho, I had a whole day for myself to make the best out of it. I lazily delayed getting out of bed and was following a sermon on my phone. I leave in a community where we do life together as a cell. Apparently one of the cell members was planning her wedding.

For any one who has interacted with a different culture you go slow on offering any assistant. Culture shock is real and at times it can be embarrassing. On such events I want behind scene. Now, my neighbour called and asked if I could give a hand! There were some work that needed to be done at the brides home in preparation for her introduction. Me Grace I hoped out of bed, freshened up and I joined my fellow members.

We did the necessary and we were ready for guests. Now the gist of the story unfolds. The bride requested that we should assist on welcoming visitors, from where I come from no major expectations… For this particular culture dress code matters, how you welcome is ceremonial. Ngatho! Me and my head faculty we agree it’s time to run away, how do I handle this, part of me was curious and part of me was not sure whether I was ready to do this.

Fast forward, one of us offered a gomesi( Cultural dress) for me, mixed feelings started filling me up. Will it come out well, how do I handle the outcome? Anywho I gave in. The shocks were tripping, and many awaited.

First, I learnt that the guests have to crawl up to the set out seats.🤥🤥 But why torture your inlaws, it didn’t stop at crawling but also you leave the shoes at the entrance! , 😎😎. My facial expression was so funny and getting funnier. Part of me want to shout, for Christ sake old men can’t crawl bare feet like children. Then something pinches me and reminds me am not in my country.

But culture none of them is superior than the other.. It is just different none is wrong or right. As if that is not enough, no meal can be served until they have negotiated and agreed. Something else, you remove your coats as you negotiate. Just an implication that you might sweat..Not even drinking water can be offered to the inlaws.. It didnt stop shocking when water is served to a section of us and leave out the inlaws.

The place was dead silent, only whispers of people who were out there waiting for the outcome from the meeting happening inside the house. The DJ was ceremonial not even instrumental were playing from his system. I at one point wondered whether we were for burial or an introduction. From a trusted source I am made aware that at times some mischievous aunt can hide the shoe, this meaning you go home barefeet. But why? She says its fun.🙄🙄🙄. This is to tell you, thr dance had just begin…

Just as we were seated at the tent the people who had entered the house for negotiation came out. From the look of things the faces showed that things were getting thick. I did not know what to expect further it was turning out to be frustrating, My nature is very inquisitive I want to understand what is happening. We kept exchanging pleasantries. By this time we were yawning out of hunger.

I learnt on such events please ensure your tummy is well sorted otherwise food can happen even at midnight. It is until you have managed to convince the bride’s parents that you are worth their daughter. Interesting as it is, we had no say. Just in a few minutes the groom’s family walked in carrying a very unique chair. Routinely remove your shoe and walk in bare feet. They carried a number of items with them.

At a sight of these we thought we are now getting to the tail end of this to and fro. That was not the case. Two hours went down the line, after that we heard some ululation coming from the house and we were sure it done, It was a sigh of relief. First, our stomach were complaining, and again we could not take the tension that was coming with the wait.

Thirty minutes later there was fresh ululations, now we were sure we are getting there. I tell you the pressure is mounting, we are getting frustrated. We kept stealing a glance at the inlaws. Their faces were sad and it could not be hidden any longer. I will never forget a lady who was seated at the DJ desk.. She kept like provoking, asking water and ensuring no inlaw can taste. But why wait on people and yet keep the food until its no longer fresh?

If you have had a family event, theirs is always one of the aunts who tends to take control of somethings. Some are in the kitchen seated in a corner, theirs is to give instruction, command, taste all food very annoying characters. That day I had a blend of this. At one point we almost left before finishing preparing chapati.

Back to our story, the aunt at the DJ desk started playing music. Our faces started lighting in hopes. we knew the deal is sealed. Little did we know we had thirty more minutes of waiting. At around six pm a man came. You know the spokesperson, the ones who hold keys to the program. Those who say who speaks and who will be silenced, the ones who keep saying some hurting words here and there just to stay at bay. He blows the Microphone as usual and says we are welcoming you for an early dinner.

Then after he gives the bullet of the program, list who will talk and when, I kept remembering curfew is on. I could not help but feel for them. But what do I do. Am just a good friend who cared to be present and support. Anyhow, we had something something to nibble.

At that point we started making deliberations, You know how you start imagining how it would look like if it were our homes. We did serious introspection, made commitments asked God to help us to be better in laws, to forge a new culture that do not treat daughters like commodity for sale.

Our hearts desire is to see Jesus culture taking roots, to see who claim to be believers practice that which they preach. It was a tough day. The ceremony was ending at around eight at night, not forgetting curfew days are with us. It cannot be amplified enough of the need to reevaluate our culture and build a culture based on love.

Dowry is good and biblical but should not be a hurdle that will cause our young men choose not to marry or elope with our girls. I saw deep love in that young man, He did hang in there he was determined to betrothe his beloved. We thank God that he finally made a way. Hard as it was they finally gave away the girl.

In my head, I eloped long time ago and the resolve was; we will meet after my fifth born.. Story of my life, my head faculty keeps racing. Yaani God knows, the cool demeanor that our bride kept it was admirable. For me I would have raised my hand and gave my mind… But in all this culture is important but at times it can enslave us and cause us to miss the blessing.

We found ourselves at one point praying for our girl, it can backfire on her after marriage. The people who faced the real torture, the two and fro of negotiations. When you cross culture it is only God who makes it possible you encounter all strongholds. What do we say? we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Is Jesus dealing with us? Oh yes we are being built by day, every day is a learning process.

We never stop learning, we never stop looking to Jesus, we keep being transformed into his likeness. We are better together, A cord of three strands is not easily broken. We keep checking on what foundation we are building on. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. It can only get better

#faithover

#Crossculture nevergetsstale

#cultureshockis real

#reversecultureshockisevenworse

#eventhiswillpass

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