This institution is as old as man himself and gives no regard to trivial issues like modernization and societal trends. That is why this old custom is seen amidst villages that have not tasted the sweetness of civilization. In Nigeria, this custom is being celebrated in different ways due to the variation in ethnicity.
There are many tribes and cultures in this country and each treat marriage and the affairs that lead to it differently. There are some customary practices that a lot of people dread because of their cruelty; the young ones do not want to attempt it because they go through different phases of torture before they can get married.
Some of these Nigerian wedding customs were put in place to test the patience and maturity level of the intending groom. They believe marriage is for those who have high level of maturity. However, some reconsideration could be done in order not to scare away the youths of this generation who obviously do not have the tenacity to withstand such hardships.
Marrying within one’s tribe could be glorious because you must have been prepped all your life for that major event. However, when you have to step out of zone to marry someone whose tribe and cultural values are different from yours, you may have problems. Notwithstanding, this should not prevent you from being joined in holy matrimony to your partner.
Find below some of the weird Nigerian wedding customs that often discourage the youths from getting married:
1. Fulani Sharo tradition
This means that the men are usually flogged many times in order for the community to see how brave they are before they are allowed to court women.
This would show the bride and the community that the groom has qualities like endurance, resilience and patience. This custom is practiced among the Fulani people.
2. The virginity test
This test is done primarily by the Yoruba people who believe the bride must not be defiled before the wedding night. In performing this test, a white piece of cloth is laid for the newly wedded couple to lay on that night of their wedding.
The groom is expected to make love to his bride on that piece of white cloth. The breaking of the hymen is symbolical as the cloth is expected to be stained with blood.
The family of the groom will be waiting patiently for this piece of cloth. If it comes back unstained with blood, the bride is presumed to have been defiled.
Thus, an empty box of matches along with other goods will be sent to the bride’s family. This means their daughter is not innocent and the scenario would always be referred to.
3. Prostrating as many times as possible
Yoruba customs demand that the groom has to prostrate as many times as possible while seeking the hand of a Yoruba maiden. The groom and his friend must perform this rite if the bride to be is of Yoruba origin.
The financial status of this groom does not matter here; even if he has his embroidery made of gold, he would have to lay down flat and pay homage to the family of the bride.
Some men find this annoying as they have to go down on dirty floors while performing this old custom.
4. The high bride list for an Igbo bride
Some men are being discouraged from marrying their beloved partners because of the long bridal list the brides’ families expect them to provide.
It is usually unfair as some of these guys may not be able to afford these things. They would lose their love to the highest bidder. Some would go marry outside that tribe in order to avoid the expenses that come with the marriage.
5. The absurd custom of not marrying before the eldest
Some youths have lost the chance of marrying their beloved as a result of this wedding custom. In some eastern parts of Nigeria, it is believed that the eldest has to marry first before the younger ones can attempt marriage.
If the eldest does not have a suitor, then the younger ones may have to wait for eternity. If their partners are not understanding, they may break up with them and find someone else who is ready to get married.