Secrets From The Sahara Seven days then one : weddings
It’s summer time, people go for holidays, some go for camps, some go to the sea, some spend time in hotels. In summer people do a lot of things.
In my city, Kébili, people get married. Back in the years, I used to go to random wedding parties just to dance and have fun with guys but now things have changed. I remember when weddings used to last 7 days and 7 nights, and partying as usual starts with the sunset. It used to be long but simple, relatives, neighbours, friends and friends of friends all meet to share the joy of celebrating someone’s wedding. Each day is specified for something, a day for collecting the wedding needs from food to clothing to decoration tools..etc, a day for the ladies, a beauty day, some colour their hair, some do the “Henna” in their palms and feet, and so on. From the women’s needs, singing and clapping and laughing always follow, and sometimes happen some fights but fights don’t last within that atmosphere of happiness. Another beauty men day for the men who are taking care of the groom, his haircut, his wedding bath, a massage sometimes and some wedding games such as ‘the sultan and the perish’ in which the groom is the sultan who designates and give orders. A day to take the bride to the ancient city of Kébili, usually people walk while the bride rides a horse or a camel; this event is referred to as “the visit” or “Mezwar” as a symbol of proving that people are still clinging to their traditions, or that is what I understood from it. The important days from these 7 days are the last 3 days. In these days happen the official wedding partying and these 3 days are the ones still preserved up to today but the content changed. Before, the first day starts usually with the sufi show ‘Hadra’ at night in the groom’s family house, some prefer to do it in the afternoon and some others prefer to do it a day earlier. Then, there are two types of played music, music played by a Dj, a mixture of songs while people dance and groove all night, and there is the music played by a group of musicians using traditional and modern instruments playing the common national songs usually what we call here “Mezwed” as the name of the princial instrument of that type of songs. So the night the groom is having a Dj party, the bride’s house will be having a mezwed party, the next night they change, then the last night they will be having a common celebration party by the groom’s family house or in a wedding place in which the couple will put on rings and head up to their new place together. Today, life has changed, time has changed, people’s thinking changed, life style hanged, a lot of things have lost their taste, wedding parties are no longer as fun as they were except in some specific places or in some specific families who are still united as before. Another reason is the expenses, before it didn’t cost as much as today, nowadays people can hardly afford to have a one night party.
No matter how things change, there will always be something left from the past, a lot of wedding traditions are kept safe and people keep proving day after day that they just won’t let them ago, without asking questions, they take them as they are, i think if people start asking questions ‘why ?’ and ‘for what ?’, a lot of things will just disappear in a jiffy, and we just hope not.