Over ten thousand guests were invited to the weddings organized for six siblings in Gohatsion, Ethiopia
As in many traditional societies, a wedding is an extremely special event in Ethiopia. Many of the features of the wedding ceremony have been changing recently, seemingly from the influence of western culture through digital and communication technologies, and social media – among others, especially in urban centres.
The wedding in Gohatsion ( or Keri Goha) – which is only 180 kilometres northwest of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, has visibly retained much of the traditional aspects of the Ethiopian weddings. It is much like a community event.
Unlike the “modern” wedding function arrangements whereby catering service, banquet hall, or hotel ballroom reservations, the wedding for six siblings has retained communal aspects of the wedding function.
A wedding in the Ethiopian tradition was much like a community event in the sense that villagers take part in the preparation for the event. From food preparation to the preparation of venues, decorations (usually it does not miss the Ethiopian flag) to the preparation of drinks (tella or tej), it is very much communal.
Ato Teferi Belay and Woyzero Shemachu Arse have nine children together in their 33 years of marriage. The first born is 33 years old and she is one of the brides. The remaining five siblings are marrying at the same time and at the same wedding event. It could be something that gives Gohatsion an additional name.
Three sons and three daughters marry at the same wedding event. It is the role of parents to plan and organise the wedding event once the date is set following a traditional “shemgelena” ceremony – an important part of the Ethiopian wedding where the parents of the bride receive elders who make a formal request to the would-be bride’s family to allow their daughter to marry their “son.”
Shemageles (Elders) give information to the family as to who the would-be bride is. It is like a way of selling the would-be bride to the bride’s family. It is like soliciting on behalf of the bride.
“My children do have two years of age interval. I have had a plan for a long time now to organise a wedding for all of them together. We were working on it and God helped us,” Ato Teferi told Fana Broadcasting Corporate Fana Kelemat reporter.
Ato Teferi said over 10,000 guests were invited. It is a big event.
Watch the featured video from Fana Kelemat ( FBC production) about the event.
Video : embedded from Fana YouTube channel
Cover photo : screenshot from the video
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