I attended my first Mozambican wedding on Friday afternoon. My former conversation partner, who has become a good friend, married an Oasis colleague. Both of them go to my church. As is the case with so many Christian couples here, they’ve been dating for years but hadn’t gotten married yet because they couldn’t afford a wedding. With the help of many from the church community and Oasis, a beautiful outdoor wedding, held at a pastor’s farm in a neighboring town, was organized.
First family and friends gathered at the Registry where the marriage was officiated. Vows, rings, and a kiss were exchanged there. Then the couple was driven around town at a snail’s pace in a car adorned with dozens of long, skinny balloons, followed by a honking pick-up truck filled with singing and clapping relatives. The ceremony at the farm was much the same as a Western ceremony. Vows, rings, and a kiss were exchanged again. But the reception involved far more pushing and piles of rice and greasy spaghetti.
The bride was radiant and the groom beaming, and friends and family members thrilled to finally witness their union.