Valentines Day comes with a double edged sword, it can be a day of joy or sorrow. We begin the day with great expectations of being showered with love and gifts – more often than not there is disappointment, not quite the amount of flowers we believe we deserve, not quite the small and shiny gift we were expecting and the list goes on.
Why should it be one single day that a public display of affection is required. We should always have the spirit of love and emotion, share in our close personal relationships. We need to live beyond the formalities and rather constantly experience the love that is shared, our private moments of togetherness. We need to reach out, which may involve a fair measure of emotional risk taking, but nothing ventured nothing gained.
We cant look to others to fulfill us, unless we are whole and complete within ourselves, no matter what the other person does – it’s never going to be enough. Show you love somebody, share the light in your heart. Bask in the radiance and warmth of their love… everyday!
Key word – ROMANTIC
Close personal relationship | Spirit of love and emotion | Light hearted abandon | Emotional risk taking | Go beyond formalities | Private moments of togetherness | Reach out | Refuse to judge or condemn
The courtship process starts with a boy’s father proposing to the chosen girl’s parents.
If the girl’s parents agreed to the proposal, they would present the boy’s father with a calabash of water. The boy himself would then visit the girl in the company of a few of his friends. If she was satisfied with the idea of having him as her future husband, she would give him a scarf (moqhaka) as a present. Custom also dictated that she should offer him food, which he would have to reject to prove that he came out of love and not out of hunger.
The transfer of bohali (bride wealth) from the groom’s family to that of the bride sealed traditional marriages. This signified that the woman had now become part of the man’s clan and that their children would be born with his name. The bohali was usually fixed at 20 cattle, one horse and 10 sheep or goats but payment was rarely made in full and usually amounted to only 10 cattle.
Any payment after this helped strengthen the bonds between the two families. In the past, the wedding ceremony was held shortly after the marriage was arranged. A more recently developed custom is that the wedding only takes place after the couple has eloped or after the man and his friends have abducted the girl of his choice. The girl is then welcomed at the man’s home as if the wedding had taken place.
A feast is held and the girl’s family sends her trousseau to her new home. The groom acknowledges that he has had sexual relations with his wife when he sends the first instalment of six cattle or an equivalent amount of money. This does not however entitle him to acknowledge any of their children under his clan name until he has paid over the balance of the bohali.