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7 Reading Questions: World Weddings

Average: 3.1 (8 votes)

I think every girl imagines their wedding day. Mine includes a long white dress, a beautiful hall, my friends and family and lots and lots of chocolate donuts...
However, every country has different wedding traditions and young ‘brides to be’ dream about different things.

I found some really interesting articles which explain wedding customs from around the world. Read about the traditions in Africa and Europe and then see if you can answer the true or false questions at the end.

Are any of you getting married soon? Let us know!
By Caroline

Important Vocabulary:

Bride - the woman getting married.
Groom - the man getting married.
To get engaged - to promise someone that you will marry them.

African Weddings

African weddings are a family affair and involve the combining of two lives, two families, and sometimes even two communities! There are many different wedding traditions in the African continent and no two are exactly alike. However, in all the communities the bride plays a very special role and is treated with respect because she is a link between the unborn and the ancestors.

A bride might eventually bear a very powerful child, so she is treated with respect. In some areas of East Africa the groom’s family would even move to the brides village and set up a whole new house there.

Weddings can be very elaborate, involving feasting and dancing for days within a community, they can be very simple, or they can even be performed in huge marriage ceremonies involving many different couples.

The Massai people of Kenya grow up with children of their own age and normally form relationships with these people. However, in marriage women are given to a man they do not know who is much older than themselves. The bride packs all her belongings and is dressed in her finest jewelry.

At the marriage ceremony the father of the bride spits on the brides head and breasts as a blessing and then she leaves with her husband walking to her new home she never looks back fearing that she will turn to stone.

This can be a very sad experience for the bride, who is 13-16 years old and may walk a long way to get to her new house. In order to ward off bad luck sometimes the women of the groom’s family will even insult the bride.

European Weddings

European Wedding Traditions involve the practice of different types of customs in the several nations of the continent. Such traditions vary between the West and East European countries.

In case of the Western European countries, generally a diamond ring is used for the engagement ceremony. But in certain East European countries gold rings witness the engagement occasion. European Wedding Traditions follow various extensive and lavish customs.

In any European Wedding a white wedding gown for the bride is a compulsory attribute. The Western European countries follow the custom of tying shoes at the back of the bridegroom's car since it signifies good luck.

The groom must put on a flower from the bride's bouquet. The wedding ceremony takes place in the churches, chapels and cathedrals. The bride and the groom take the vows as referred to by the church priest and promise to stand by each other in every moments of life.

This is followed by the exchange of the rings. After this they are allowed to kiss each other as a token of love. The guests along with the bridegroom and their families then head to attend a lavish spread along with dance and music.

Wedding Traditions of Europe feature the popular idea of the 'Best Man' which has its origin in Germany. It is selected by the groom as a company for his wedding. It was in Italy where the custom of breaking the wedding cake or bread upon the bride's head was pioneered.

In England, any old piece of ornament or any other accessory is gifted to the bride to mark inheritance. The gift of new garments to the couples refers to the commencement of a new life and a bright future.

Couples are also gifted at times with some such items borrowed from a happy couple from the bride's side. This indicates lifelong togetherness. The bridegroom are suppose to wear a blue-colored wedding band as blue symbolizes purity.

Are the following statements true or false?

  • 1. Weddings across Africa are very similar.

  • 2. The African woman who is getting married is not a very important part of the day.

  • 3. Sometimes, in Africa, more than one couple get married in the same service.

  • 4. A Massai woman often has to leave her family when she gets married, which can be very sad.

  • 5. A diamond engagement ring is normally used in Eastern Europe.

  • 6. In Europe, the bride and groom kiss each other after the ceremony.

  • 7. The groom should wear a green band on his wedding day for luck.