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Comparison between marriage customs in America and Nigeria

Research design

It is often said that marriages are made in Heaven, and therefore, a suitable partner is very much of a necessity so as to lead a very happy and satisfied life. We often witness two types of Marriages, mainly, love marriages and arranged marriages. In love marriage, two adults decide to involve themselves in the holy bond of matrimony and in the other the families of the groom and the bride, or the third parties, a very active role in determining the match. In earlier days arranged marriages were the norm; this research provides a comparative analysis of the different practices and beliefs in marriage in the American and Nigerian contexts.

The research contends that in effect, marriage rituals are characterized as dynamically developing to include or allow social changes that happen in terms of looking for a potential domestic partner


Marriage is the most important event in a persons life and the ceremony and tradition involve dare an integral of the day. Marriage customs and ceremony are based on the religion and the country the person is in. There are lots of difference in the marriage customs between Nigeria and America, like in country “Nigeria”, marriage procedures follows step by step which depends on where the man comes from, either from the eastern part (called the Ibos), western (called the Yoruba’s) and the northern part of Nigeria (called the Hausas), in this research I would be talking about marriages only in the western region. Marriage in the western region of Nigeria involves various stages before the couple can be declared as husband and wife. Before a man can marry a woman he ought to go through some traditional rituals and process which involves quality time and money. This involves three different stages, firstly is the “momimo” meaning “introduction” in Yoruba language, then the “ìdánaàdéhùn ìgbéyàwó” meaning “engagement” and lastly the main event called “ayeye ìgbéyàwó” meaning wedding, after this last process then the couple can now called regarded as husband and wife.

The first stage: “THE INTRODUCTION” is the part of the occasion whereby the man and his family goes to the woman’s family to ask of approval of their daughter’s hand in marriage. The procedure involves the groom and his family, and a person called “olopa iduro” meaning standing policeman. The standing policeman is the one who speaks on behalf of the groom’s family, he might be a family member or hired for the occasion. This same procedure also applies to the bride’s family but in this case the appointed speaker is called “olopa ijoko” meaning sitting policeman in Yoruba language. The whole procedure takes place in the bride’s family house where everybody will gather around waiting for the groom’s arrival, meanwhile preparations like food and other things would be made down by the bride’s family. The bride’s family is supposed to be dressed in the native attire which implies respect for the culture. The groom and his family are expected to come on the time appointed but there is a concept called “African Time” where no one is expected to arrive at the actual time appointed for the occasion, nevertheless if the groom and family arrive too late and keep them the bride and family waiting for short while, they might be asked to leave or probably allowed to appeal to the family by paying a traditional fine to the bride’s family before they could be accepted. when the groom and his family gets to the brides place, as soon as the enter the house the men prostrate to the brides parents while the bride kneel down to the groom family, this is a respectful way of exchanging greetings according to Yoruba culture. After all the cultural greetings they take their seats whereby both families sits on opposites sides of the room with the bride and groom in the center while the olopa ijoko and olopa iduro take...
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