Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Motswana-Marine wedding

On Saturday we went to the wedding of a lovely young lady from Botswana and her U.S. Marine sweetheart.

It was sunny and warm, until shortly before the event was to start, dark storm clouds stealthily moved in and thunder and lightning cracked through the suddenly cool air. Rain began steadily falling.

"What a day for a wedding!" I thought, as (I admit) some Alanis Morissette lyrics ran through my head. "It's like raiiiiiii-n/On your wedding day"

What I was reminded of by a matronly Motswana (an individual from Botswana) is that rain is VERY good luck here. In fact, the currency in Botswana is called the pula -- "'Pula' literally means 'rain' in Setswana, because rain is very scarce in Botswana -- home to much of the Kalahari Desert -- and is therefore valuable. Pula also means 'blessing' as rain is considered a blessing." (Wikipedia)

A really interesting reminder that you can't put your own cultural values on another. What would be considered at best unfortunate and at worst bad luck in the U.S. was welcomed as the best possible marriage omen on an otherwise sunny day; to have the thunderclouds roll in without warning and the skies open and pour down rain. A day for singing and jubilation, indeed.


Anne said...

How great to be able to be a part of a wedding there. Did they have many unique traditions?

There's a french saying: "Mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux" which means rainy marriage, happy marriage. I love it!

modestmuse said...

Look at you, speaking the French! Whoo hoo! That's French too, right?