By FEMI ADETUNJI
It was by every standard a Nigerian traditional wedding. In fact, it had all the trappings of a wedding held in a village. However, this is one traditional wedding with a difference. It was contracted between Edwina Kaliku, a Nigerian girl from Agbor, Delta State and James McCormick, a Polish citizen. Though this may sound ordinary, what makes this wedding unique is the fact that it was conducted in Uncle Sam’s, at the Polish Community Centre, Albany, United States, July 2, but had all the rites of a traditional wedding held back at home in Agbor, with a compere, Bunmi Erogbogbo, who also doubled as spokesperson for the bride’s family.
To start with, the bride and the groom were both gorgeously dressed in Igbo traditional attire. The occasion started with a brief history of the Kaliku’s ancestral home in Agbor kingdom, which was followed by songs that actually explained series of marital tasks. The ceremony further saw the groom wooing the bride’s mother by giving her a bottle of wine, and the bride’s father, Edwin Kaliku appealing to elders for approval for the wedding to proceed.
What makes the events more colourful was the posh garbs worn by the men and women. In their various shapes, the women wore decorative traditional headdresses paired with modern shoes, while the men came out with their long one-piece robes that still revealed their shoes. Perhaps one of the unique spices of the event was when the bride came out with a group of young ladies all adorning same kind of dress with her in order to confuse the groom and make him search for who among them is his bride. While the search continued, traditional music was played in the background and at a point, the bride danced to the centre of the room to meet her soon-to-be husband.
Looking at the colours and the drama at the wedding, Towanna Ramdeen, a guest said, “Today is all about colour and liveliness. This event is about coming together in a traditional way, hence the bride and groom are an interracial couple.” Well said.
-Rev. Fr. Adetunji, a postgraduate student of the Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt, is on internship in TELL.