Traditional Marriage Rite in Nigeria has been the cause of societal pressure for years now. These rites are said to be part of the culture passed down from forefathers to the modern generation. Marriage ceremony in Nigeria is a big project costing a lot of money and physical and psychological stress.
One would wonder that in a developing country like Nigeria certain outdated traditions and customs would be scrapped but the reverse is the case. Overtime these traditional marriage rite has caused a lot of unnecessary pressure on the youth.
Traditional marriage rite is a plaque that continues to affect the society, and the effect has been devastating so far, yet nothing is done to change this. If you are a foreigner and not abreast with the customs and traditions of the Nigerian people when it comes to marriage. Then you need to pay close attention as we enlighten you on this topic.
What Is Traditional Marriage Rite
Marriage according to the dictionary is the union of two people, coming together to live as one. Traditional marriage in Nigeria is the customary joining of two individuals as one under the believes and custom of the families.
Traditional marriage rite in Nigeria is held in great esteem as, it is considered the bonding of individuals by law of the custom. It involves several customary proceedings which includes the traditional attire, bride price and bridal list.
In Nigeria most culture see the ceremony as sacred, a man and woman is not considered marriage except the traditional rites is done. It is important for the man to come seek the hand of the woman he intends to marry from her family.
He will be required to carry out the traditional marriage rite as structured by the tradition of the girl family. Some of these rites include bride price list which is the major cause of the pressure.
In most Nigerian culture the man is required to buy certain items that are given to him in a form of list. The list comprises of
- large tubers of yam
- bags of salt
- gallons of palm oil
- bags of rice
- bags of garri (Casava Flour)
- basins of dry fish
- a life goat
- sewing machine for the bride
- Lace wrapper for the parents
- Shoe and walking stick for the father of the bride
- Sum of money for the youth of the village
- Money for the bride siblings
- Tubers of Plantain
- Crate of drinks
- Bottles of Water
- Set of Wrapper for the bride and lots more.
This list is compiled by the village elders of the bride and given to the would be husband. Now after the list has been tendered to the man, depending on the tradition the man is required to host a traditional marriage ceremony and on the day of this ceremony he would bring the above mentioned items.
The ceremony is to be held on the premises of the girl’s family and the potential groom is required to contribute money to make the ceremony successful. One might think that this is unrealistic but this has been an age long tradition that doesn’t seem to fade away.
All these marriage requirements is what causes the pressure most youth feel. A man has to come up with the money for these unnecessary ceremony and knowing the Nigerian society the money required would sum up to millions.
These days there are young men who shy away from marriage simply because of the pressure the ceremony carries. Now a days we see common occurrence of the female searching for the finance to help reduce the cost on her fiance, some even sponsor the ceremony themselves. Some women have even missed out on their potential husbands simply because he cannot carry the burden of carrying out an elaborate traditional marriage ceremony. Some men have gone to extreme levels to get the finance needed for this ceremony.
While some women face animosity in their homes simply because the man feels bitter due to the way he was treated during the ceremony. This unnecessary pressure by an outdated tradition has to be stopped before negative things start happening.
A society is supposed to grow and things that impede its growth should be cast away. By holding on to an outdated tradition all in the name of keeping the custom, one restrict growth and where there is no growth there is definitely no development.