Xigiana (she.gui.anna)

Well, they have been married close to two weeks now and what a wedding it was!
Just a few shots of what happened on Friday afternoon and night but what I really want to share is what happened on Saturday when we had xigiana.

cutting the cake, me translating for Jessis' parents, dancing, the four of us, cupcakes( we made 250 of them didnt sleep that night!) and hanging out with friends.
cutting the cake; I was the designated portuguese to english translator; dancing; my siblings and I; Jessis’ neices and nephews leading the bride to the front; wedding cupcakes( we made 250 of them, didn’t sleep that night!) hanging out with friends; more dancing and me and my good friends Corrie and Nomsa working the celeb pose πŸ˜€

Xigiana is Mozambiqan custom, it is a party that is celebrated the day after the wedding. It is when the bride’s family come and formally leave the bride at the grooms parents home. literally it means they are now officially letting go being responsible over their daughter and handing her over to her new family. It’s an occasion to eat, dance, sing and yes cry. And this is how it went:

First the bride and groom arrived ( I don’t have any pictures of that as I was busy taking a video) Then Jessicas’ family arrived. They had to group together outside our gate and when they were ready started to sing as they entered our property. It is customary for the brides family to come with basic house keeping items that the bride will use in her new home.

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They sing specific songs that the grooms family has to respond to and only after an exchange of money (US$3) does the family come in.

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The moment the note of money (MT100/ around $US 3)was exchanged between the two families.

The mother of the groom leads the way singing and dancing as she leads the brides family into her home.
The mother of the groom leads the way singing and dancing as she leads the brides family into her home.
She is accompanied by her friends and family.
She is accompanied by her friends and family.

What better way for two families to show that they are in agreement with the union than to sit together and…

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share a meal.

no caterers just about 30 of my moms friends getting together and cooking an amazing lunch! We had about 100 people at our house.
no caterers just about 30 of my moms friends getting together and cooking an amazing lunch! We had about 100 people at our house.

When everyone had their share to eat it was time to present gifts. Of course there is no way you can do that without dancing and so they danced!

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My brother loved being carried about on his chair his brand new wife was a bit unsure about the whole thing.LOL!

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My brother lived a couple of years with an amazing family in Capetown South Africa, it was so good for them and other friends from South Africa to come and join in the celebrations. The whole event for them was very different from anything they had ever experienced but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

They made enough desserts for 150 people to eat and Oh man were they a hit!
They made enough desserts for 150 people to eat and Oh man were they a hit!

At the end of the night Jessica’s’ family had to say goodbye, it was a tearful moment as Jessica’s’ mom hugged her daughter and left. Even though the gesture of saying goodbye is symbolic it means a lot to a mother as reality sinks in…my daughter will not be coming home any more. I Dont have any of those pictures and even if I did, I don’t think I would share the moment to the world πŸ™‚

Don’t you think i have beautiful cousins?

My beautiful cousin Monica
My beautiful cousin Monica

 

Monica, Barbra and I. It is customery for all the grooms family member to wear clothes made from the same african print. This way the new family will know who is the grooms family
Monica, Barbra and I. It is customary for all the grooms family members to wear clothes made from the same african print. This way the new family will know who is the grooms family

There is much to be said about strong family and community ties. We came to Mozambique 20 years ago with just a couple of suitcases and knowing no one. My brothers wedding was a celebration of what the love of Christ can do, it can bond people in such a way that we no longer look at each other as “foreigner” but family. This day would not have been possible without the amazing support of the church members were my parents, siblings and I have served for the past 11 years. We are not fully Mozambican yet but we are getting there. Welcome to our family Jessica.

The Mulengas.
The Mulengas.

P.S Guess who caught the bouquet on Friday night?

I LOOOOOVE my bouquet!
I LOOOOOVE my bouquet!

ME!!!! If there is anything that we would all love is to be a family that looks beyond color, race and nationality. Here is to the other people who will join our family in the future, may you also bring with you amazing cultural customs that we can learn and practise!

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