Photo by: Alexander Photography
3. After The Bride Has Been Identified.
The sisters and bride assemble by kneeling down in front of the guests.it is norm and tradition in Buganda for females to kneel before a male and the elderly despite the sex, its seen as a sign of respect.
Finally when the bride is identified among the women who have assembled, the groom's sister gives the bride a flower. This moment is followed by ululations and celebrations which makes the bride very happy and she dances for her day and fortune.
After identifying the bride, the groom also has to be identified among the visitors. He has to first sit behind until he is identified by the Ssenga. The groom does not talk much during the ceremony. The Ssenga dances to the music being played as she looks for the groom in the crowd. When she identifies him, she escorts him to his special seat before announcing to everyone that the groom is the man who had gathered people here. At this moment everyone is happy and clapping while others ululate in excitement.
The rest of the ceremony is as interesting as the gifts which have to be given to the girl’s parents and relatives.
The gifts are brought and allocated to the different beneficiaries as the hosts lay their demands and wishes on the new family.
However, before the gifts are handed over, the hosts spokesman has to ask the bride and Ssenga whether they should accept the gifts, when the gifts are accepted, the audiences claps and ululates.
Papyrus made baskets known as "bibos" are a must in Buganda marriage .The medium size baskets usually contain all kinds of fruits and vegetables which the groom has to bring to the ceremony.
However vegetables like eggplants (ntula and biringanya) are considered as cultural taboo and shouldn't be brought on that day. If such vegetables are taken, it may lead to the man being fined or denied the bride altogether.
Apart from vegetables, the baskets should also contain loaves of bread, sugar, salt, soap, paraffin, cooking oil, curry powder, meat which is usually the thigh and other items.
As a sign of appreciation to the girl’s parents and relatives, the groom has to bring "Kanzus" for the father in-laws and brother in-laws and "Gomesis" for mother in-law and aunties.
Kanzu is traditional garment for men while Gomesis is for women of which items are a must.
The bride also has to get a special gift of a suitcase containing clothing and other basic needs she will need.
Besides food and clothing, the groom has to prepare money which is put in different envelopes for the father in-laws. He also has to bring a cock for the brother in-law. Depending on the agreement made, the groom has to bring a she goat or cow for that matter.
The groom is also required to buy a marriage certificate from Buganda Kingdom to show respect for the cultural monarchy.
The Kwanjula ceremony is complete with exchange of rings and cutting of the cake to crown the ceremony.
The ceremony gives pride to both parents and the new couple. The community treats and looks at both families with high respect and dignity. The whole process almost takes the whole day ending with jubilation, dancing and feasting.
The in-laws are served a special mean known as "Luwombo”. It’s basically stew that is wrapped and steamed in banana leaves without getting it to touch water or oil. The most common one is chicken and beef with peanut sauce.
The glamour and entourage from both families and exciting speech from the spokesman make Kwanjula a ceremony that is worth attending to make one understand how interesting and engaging it can be
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