Feb. 18th, 2011

eccentricyoruba: (Default)
[personal profile] eccentricyoruba
I promised to x-post this a while ago.

I really wish this guy a happy married life and such, but I'm not happy with this article he wrote for the BBC entitled; How I bought my South African bride. There's so many things wrong with the article that I can't even begin to name them, however I take issue with his using 'bought' in reference to his African bride. The truth is I wasn't able to stomach reading the entire article, I only read up to the first paragraph, but I believe he is talking about the customs that form part of marriages across Africa in which a prospective husband pays his bride's family. We call it the 'bride price' in English, a term which is quite problematic because it indeed suggests that the bride is bought, and it usually involves all sorts of money, livestock, fabrics, services and in my region, religious emblems.

I personally have no problem with this practice because it is part of my culture. I also know that this payment doesn't mean that any man has actually bought me. That's absolute BS. The act of paying the 'bride price' is entirely symbolic. The show of wealth is a means of insuring the bride's parents and family that the prospective husband has enough wealth to take care of their daughter. Where I'm from, the 'bride price' is usually shared among the bride's family members. Furthermore, a part of the 'bride price' is given to the bride so that she has something with which to support herself even in her marital home.

Sugabelly wrote a really excellent and informative post on the practise in Igboland;

...Bride Price refers to an indeterminate amount of wealth (in material goods, cash, and services) that the groom-to-be gives to the family of his bride-to-be as a symbol of his estimation for his bride.

It is NOT (as the Western media would have you believe) the purchasing of a woman. In fact, like many many gross misconceptions about our culture, 90% of the reason why people think this is because the British who reported about the custom with their limited understanding of it labelled it Bride PRICE (as if the Bride is a product at a supermarket that you can buy for a certain Price). Not only has this cast negative aspersions on this aspect of our culture, but the general misinformation about it has also emboldened men with little understanding of the culture to misinteprete it and use it as an excuse to abuse their wives...[ ]

On the surface it would appear that every woman should be the fierce opponent of bride price, especially considering how it has been portrayed in the world media and the way uneducated (and even educated) Nigerian men view it but to be honest, I think it is a beautiful part of our culture and should be practised PROPERLY rather than twisted and abused...[ ]

In Igbo culture, no matter how high the [bride price] a groom gives, it is always considered as exactly half of what he intends to give. One half is given before the wedding, and the other half is given upon the death of his wife. The idea is that the first half is a material expression of his esteem for his wife, with respect to her family for their combined efforts and care which turned her into the person that she is, and the second half is again an expression of love and esteem for his wife, in gratitude for the opportunity to live his life with her as his wife and to cover her burial expenses (as an Igbo woman is always buried with her people - well at least that's what's supposed to happen although modern inconveniences might mean this is not always possible). Read the entire post
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Here are a few links. After I've finished with my school day, I'll look for some good articles. For now:

Three older dictators bowing under the stress of freedom demands?

Former Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in grave condition in hospital

Egypt domino effect: Hosni Mubarak 'very sick'

There were reports around the time that Mubarak was being thrown out that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was sick with the stress. I don't see much of those reports anymore so maybe they were rumours...

Al Jazeera English

Live Blog - Libya Finally!

Live Blog - Bahrain

The Guardian:

Middle East protests - Live Which include updates on Iran, Iraq and Algeria plus Yemen.

The Arabist

The Arabist Blog looks interesting.

The LA Times
and they link to the fact that Jordan is still having protests too.

LIBYA: Google map marks protest, violence, deaths

Global Post

Feb 17..Have Yemen protests reached a turning point?:In biggest showing yet, thousands of anti-government protesters turn out in Sanaa

Link to stuff you have seen!

ETA: A cautionary note: Learning from past revolutions

[On Feb 20]: Morocco protests will test regime's claims to liberalism:Facebook groups are calling the country's youth on to the streets of cities including Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat and Tangier on Sunday to demand constitutional reform and proper democracy

ETA 2 NEw Yorker says Bahraini Protests have been going on since the eighties

The Bahraini opposition—some of whose factions have been influenced by Iran, but which, in total, is by no means a proxy for Tehran—has persisted with its resistance and illegal street protests. The street battles this week are typical of what has been going on in Bahrain, without much attention, on and off since the nineteen-eighties.

Read more Bahrain’s Long Revolution

And One MORE thing: Mass protests as Egyptians mark "Victory Day" (Roundup)

Oh GOD. The last thing I SWEAR /o\ Blogpost by Saudiwoman, which has been recced to me more than once, and was linked to the Guardian page: The Arab Revolution Saudi Update Please note that Saudi Arabia is suspected to be all up in the Bahraini revolution because it fears that its Shia population would be encouraged to start demanding rights.

Saudi Arabia has a Shiite minority concentrated in its eastern oil-producing hub that also complains of discrimination. Any spread of unrest into the world’s biggest oil exporter risks pushing crude prices above the 2 1/2-year high reached this week. Authorities arrested 38 people after clashes involving Shiite pilgrims in the holy city of Medina two months ago.MORE


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