The good news I have over the last weekend is that I have an Ibo In-Law in view. I went for an introduction ceremony of one of my cousins. The only thing I can remember about her place of origin is Mbano Local government. ‘Mbano’, it stuck.
I had my first official Ibo-kolanut with garden-egg and peppered pea-nut butter yesterday, together with some other ‘entertainment’ and an offer for alcohol(which I declined) – I settled for a 7-up bottle. The get-together went well, ‘they’ are an educated type, so we(yoruba) and ibo were on the same level. With a similar program/sequence of events as my first introduction, yesterday’s didn’t start with a formal prayer. It started with a story, then entertainment….kolanut and garden-egg. Next was the introduction of different members of families for both sides, etc. There was a spokesman from our side and a spokesman from their side, more like a question ‘I was sent to ask if…..‘, and answer kind of. The same ‘our son was playing around your house and he saw a flower he really liked……..‘ story was used.
It crossed my mind that there should be some better story-lines in the works, rather than comparing ladies to flowers ‘to be plucked’ etc. Maybe I could do some research and report with such as a post sometime.
Cont’d…they replied that there were many flowers around their house, so we should specify which one. Our spokesman tried to describe the flower and in the process mentioned ‘she’. Thats when they replied, ‘which one is ‘she’?, so your flower, na real flower or na human being’, to which we all laughed. Our spokesman continued that our flower was a ‘she’, and he mentioned her name. After mentioning her name, they started presenting all the women in the house so we could identify which one, after which the ‘real flower’ was brought out. The rest went as it usually does.
One word that reoccurred from their spokesman throughout the event was ‘culture’. He always mentioned ‘what we do at home, this is the way we do it back home…’ etc., I sat thinking: between Love and Culture, which should prevail?
With all the ‘enquiries’ completed, and the statements of agreements, the groom delivered his gifts etc….palm-wine inclusive. I didn’t know that some people still drink palm-wine nowadays. Lastly was item-7 with pounded yam inclusive.
Also surprising at the end of the show, a prayer was suggested ‘for the couple’, and the spokesman from their side said ‘No’. Someone asked why, and he replied that ‘people at the village need to be informed and give their consent’ that things went well at this initial stage. I thought…..na wah o….. According to him, it was at the engagement(after getting positive feedback from the village) that ‘all the prayers that need to be prayed will be prayed’, and from then on, we could carry go with our new wife. This is why I said I have an Ibo in-law ‘in-view’.
As much as the family is a happy type, we felt comfortably at home. From Igbo-kwenu to Yoruba-Kwenu, we were all smiles left and right.
I have started learning Ibo language. In fact, I’m presently reading: A case study of Ezeship (traditional rulership) conflicts in Ehime Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. And since there are still many flowers in their compound, who knows, we might go plucking once again. I’ll keep you posted.