Residence: Hackensack, NJ
Date of Performance/Collection: 04/22/2021
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Twi
BACKGROUND: My informant, CE, was born in Ghana and immigrated to the US about two decades ago. The following piece is a tradition within Ghanaian culture, something commonly performed at weddings.
CONTEXT: This piece is from a conversation I had with my mom about Ghanaian traditions.
CE: You already know this one but… during a wedding the man, the uh, the groom is supposed to pick the bride out of a line of other covered ladies. He’s supposed to choose the right one [his wife] to prove that he loves her.
Me: I remember from [redacted]’s wedding but have you ever seen something where the groom picks the wrong bride?
CE: They always tell the groom before which one is his bride. So if he chooses wrong he’s in big trouble!
THOUGHTS: The thought of this being a tradition seems pretty horrific to me. I’ve been to quite a few Ghanaian weddings and each time I still clench in fear when the groom has to find his bride. I used to wonder why it was necessary to go through this extra stress, but after learning more about how pranks and shenanigans like this were common in weddings all over the world, it started to become clear that these jokes were not exclusive to Africa. In Germany, for example, it is common for the bride to be “kidnapped” as a wedding day joke.