Interview with Melat

Previously, most young men would marry at 30. Currently, however, the search for a bride starts when the boy is 18 years old. The parents of the young man look for a suitable bride for him, based on their expectations and family values. If the family has a Christian background, they will search for a young woman who is a virgin. Most brides, therefore, tend to be much younger than their husbands are.

The historical ties that Ethiopia shares with Christianity, Judaism and Islam have greatly influenced its cultural practices and customs. As such, the Ethiopian traditional wedding ceremony has evolved into a combination of native customs and religious influences. Below is a list of interesting facts surrounding the Ethiopia traditional wedding.

A mediator is a critical individual in the Ethiopian traditional wedding, as he bridges the gap between the two families. Once the man’s family has identified a prospective bride, they send a mediator to the young woman’s parents to declare their intentions. After hearing what the mediator has to say, the woman’s parents will impose a few conditions for the young man’s parents to meet. The mediator conveys this message to the man’s family. Arrangements for the date and place of the next meeting are also sent to the mediator, who relays the information to the groom’s parents.

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