March 31st, 2013
I learned about and attended an interesting Swazi event today. I can’t remember the name of the event, but it is a celebration that a family has when the price of 5 cows has been paid in order to acknowledge a pregnancy out of wedlock. Someone in the Dube Family was in this situation and her boyfriend’s family paid the 5 cows to honor her. Eventually those cows will be included in the Lobola price if she gets teka (traditional engagement) in the future.
Traditionally only married women and women with children are suppose to attend, but I was invited along as a guest. Only these women attend because one of the cows is slaughtered and eaten to celebrate. It is thought that by eating this cow you are welcoming children into your life there fore only married women or women already with children should eat it. They let me eat the cow anyways and take annoying photos of the men eating the cow’s head. The cow’s head is always reserved for the men only. I did get offered some intestines however, which I gracefully declined.
It’s amazing that 21 months here and I am still learning the intricate workings of this culture. I was happy to be invited along to participate in this event. It took place on Easter Sunday, so in a way it just felt like a nice family get-together for brunch. We ate not just the cow, but chicken, and salads, and of course pap (maize meal porridge), and drank Coke-a-Cola. One of my older host sisters and her two sons came over for the event so it was really nice to see her.