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A Wedding to Remember
Saturday, 05 January 2013 Written by Sebastijan Glasnović

A Wedding to RememberAlthough it’s only my third day in Kivumu, I had the honor of attending a wedding… moreover - at which I was given the role of photographer. Initially, I thought I was only going to take photos and that would be it, but I have to admit that in the end I got a bit emotionally attached to the newlyweds and all that were present. You cannot stay indifferent when everyone is staring at you because you’re new, but it’s not really something to be concerned about!  In the end, I’m irrelevant at this event!

... The brides and bridegrooms (three couples) enter the church, appearing very serious-looking – well, at least the bridegrooms, because the brides’ faces are hidden under a veil...

Among the bridegrooms was Joseph Nzirorera, a teacher at Padri Vjeko VTC, well known to many visitors of this website. Later they told me, that by getting married, Joseph took another (the most important!) step in the direction of building a family home, that had been started a long time ago.

At first everything seemed to resemble a classic western wedding… And then it started… The priest began his speech - of which, of course, I didn’t understand a thing... but I did nonetheless laugh when others laughed! The speech was quite long – it was obviously a lesson about communal married life. I was busy taking photos, and the newlyweds were still serious… I thought that they were maybe thinking about changing their minds!

But of course they didn’t. Obviously, it’s normal here to be serious during the whole ceremony. The priest went from one couple to the other, and each one, in turn, said their significant “I do,” and each “I do” was followed by a delighted applause.

Then the bridegrooms lifted their brides’ veils, they looked each into each other's eyes, the rings were blessed and placed on their hands… but there was no kiss!!!

When everything was over, the newlyweds took traditional baskets, holding them together in their hands, and people approached and put presents in them… I was especially impressed to see a boy, not older than 10, standing in line to present a gift of his own!

And something else: the people seemed pretty well dressed, which gives the impression that they are doing just fine… but that’s only an image -  it has nothing to do with the reality of the poverty of this region… Weddings are the same everywhere, and people here in Kivumu also choose their very best clothes for the occasion.

I mustn’t forget about the choir which was quite large and filled with young voices. They not only sing beautifully, but they are accompanied by drums, something that we don’t have back home.  The sound is really good, with everyone singing and dancing.

I have been to many weddings which pretty much all look the same, but this was truly a wedding to remember! I wish them a happy and blessed life together... one with lots and lots of children!

Long live the Newlyweds!

Translated by: Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie Kae Ken

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