Normally when you hear the word culture shock, somehow a negative connotation is associated with it.
But that is not the case with this blog. I can think of no other way to describe what I witnessed between Jensine and Mike other than culture shock. It is true, I am, and will remain your alternative to the norm. But even in my extended wedding history, there is still plenty that I have not witnessed. And with the Speeds, I can now mark off partaking in a West Afrikan Wedding.
And I do mean partake because I, along with everyone, had a role in the festivity and participated.
I love to party. I love to come alive. I love it when I’m surrounded by those at weddings that share the same sentiment. This was magnified times 1000! I’ve never seen such vibrance, movement, and interaction. With EVERYONE all on one accord. From the bridal party running out and dancing to the alter, to the priestess amplifying the moods of everyone there and keeping everyone involved, to even the multiple generations, young and old, all paying homage to the ancestors while celebrating the future. There was a point where I even wanted to stop working and just witness and admire all that was going on. Of course I didn’t, you know, legality reasons, but just know I was tempted. What shocked me the most is that even when it rained, not a light rain, but HARD rain, no one moved. Nothing stopped. The celebrations continued. The ceremony continued. And Jensine and Mike took it as their old lives were being washed away, and they were being cleansed anew, together.
If that isn’t the best symbolism of love.
In a year that saw a lot of tragedy and loss for many, including Jensine and Mike, it was refreshing to see everyone put all worries aside for the union of two who undoubtedly needed the support of each other and family. Mike did not hesitate to educate me throughout the day on all I had questions about (and I definitely had plenty). And I cannot remember too many moments when Jensine’s smile was not on full strength that day. She happily married the love of her life.
To that, I say Ashay!