The Dry Season in Burundi – Time to Celebrate! II of III (Rural Notables – An Engagement, Pt.ii)

Revised 12 July 2014

After all of the food had been prepared and the entertainment arranged for  Yvonne’s engagement party, it was time for the guests to arrive and the celebration to begin.

Links to sauteed ndagala (whitebait) recipe that was prepared for the engagement feast is given at the end of the blog.

Evonne's younger sister, Elianne, is dressed in her new smock and with a cousin is coming with a traditional basket of beans for the newly-engaged couple
Yvonne’s younger sister, Elianne, is dressed in her new smock and with a cousin is coming with a traditional basket of beans for the newly-engaged couple

The guests have been seated in a large, open-front tent made of wooden poles and plastic sheeting.  Then, Yvonne is brought in by a group of women relatives who clap and sing that she is going to be a happy bride &c.  In spite of joyful songs and urging, Evonne hangs her head and moves very slowly, as part of the ceremony she is showing her sadness at leaving her own family and friends.

Evonne, in the middle front, is led to the tent by women relatives, with her uncle (in front)
Evonne says goodby to the women and is then led into the tent to join Gabriel
Yvonne says goodbye to the women and is then led into the tent b by her uncle (left) to join her finance
Evonne & Gabriel are now seated before the guests
Yvonne & Gabriel are now seated before the guests
As parta of the ceremony Omer & Nona, Evonne's parents, present a gift to the couple
As part of the ceremony Yvonne’s parents present a gift to the couple
Gabriel & Evonne then present gifts to Omer and Nona
Then, gifts are presented to Yvonne’s parents
The two fathers, Omer and Deo, symbolically dring home-made sorghum brew.  Joint dringing of sorghum beer is a traditional part of the ceremony, and after they finish different members of the family will come to take some symbolic sips
The two fathers,  drink home-made sorghum brew. Joint drinking of sorghum beer is a traditional part of the ceremony, and after they finish different members of the family will come to take some sips
Omer receives the dowery from Deo, in a traditional basket
Omer receives the dowry from Deo, in a traditional basket
Omer consults with his brother - perhaps about the dowery
Omer consults with his brother – perhaps about the dowry.  The amount must be agreed upon before proceeding with the ceremony.

Now everyone eats and eats.  No photos, because we were all busy eating!!!  (goat – plantains – salads – potatoes – bean dishes – vegetables – and lots more).  Then, in the evening, it is clean-up time:

Dish washing village-style; by the girls and with the boys watching.  What's new?
Dish washing village-style; by the girls and with the boys watching. What’s new?

That evening the couple are entertained with singing and dancing, and some of the boys prepare drums for the occasion.  That is my Irish Wolfhound, Dr. Spock, looking on.  Part way into these celebrations, a soldier from the nearby position came frantically running in and asked could we please stop the drumming (after dark) – too noisy.

Well, it was a nice idea...

Well, it was a nice idea…

The couple left the next day for Gabriel’s home in the mountains, and about a year later Yvonne came to visit with her first child.

Some months later, Evyonne came to visit with their first child; grandma looking on

Some months later, Yvonne came to visit with their first child; grandma looking on

Nona - very pleased at being a grandma

Nona parades out front – very pleased at being a grandma

LOGO IEXCOR 015

This past Easter Yvonne & Gabriel paid another visit – this time, with their two youngest children:

The math on the blackboard is homework being done by Evonne's little brother

The math on the blackboard is homework being done by Yvonne’s little brother

Ever thoughtful, Evonne would like to continue her education, going to university.  But with 3 little children it would be difficult.

Ever thoughtful, Yvonne would like to continue her education, going on to university; she would like to do law.   But now, with 3 little children it would be difficult.

Here is a link to our livestock project where I have various recipes – to a dish that was prepared for the engagement party:

Sauteed Ndagala (Whitebait) in Tomato Sauce (Burundi)

 

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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6 Responses to The Dry Season in Burundi – Time to Celebrate! II of III (Rural Notables – An Engagement, Pt.ii)

  1. beautiful post.

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Thank you, Beth, very glad that you enjoyed it. Starving babies are so often the vision that Westerners get from Africa and I do like to show that this is really not at all the general state of affairs.

      Like

  2. dianabuja says:

    Reblogged this on DIANABUJA'S BLOG: Africa, The Middle East, Agriculture, History and Culture and commented:

    This is the second part of the blog on Rural Notables – the celebration that took place after all of the food preparation took place, as discussed in the past blog of this series.

    Like

  3. Pingback: The Dry Season in Burundi – Time to Celebrate! III of III (Urban Elite – Marriages, Pt.i) « Dianabuja's Blog

  4. Karen says:

    A most beautiful couple. The basket of beans brought by the cousin was huge!! What kind of beans were they, Diana?

    The Sombe sounds fantastic. 🙂

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Depending on the season and what a family has in stock or can purchase, the beans will be mixed (red-yellow-white-etc), or just red. The basket is quite heavy – about 50 kgs, as I recall.

      Like

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