Intertribal marriage has dated back countless years despite the controversy around it. Within just one country are so many differences, differences that are present amongst ethnic and tribal groups. Some groups are cordial with the other amidst an underlying animosity or cordial because they bear none at all, while other groups possess hatred against another. In fact, we can attest to past civil wars, the separations amongst a people that led to bloodshed and thus resulted in the inheritance of younger generations that harbor some resentment against, or fortunately harboring none at all.
And those ones, they are the ones allowing love to take its course, falling in love with an individual no matter the cultural background or tribal group; and so they do, the two accepts their real feelings and whom they have fallen in love with. Then the unique couple agrees that their dating has met its final stage and join at the altar, but the sound of hearing the answer “YES” to, “Do you, Adedayo Adeyanju take Ndidi Okeke to be your lawful wedded wife? And do you, Ndidi Okeke take Adedayo Adeyanju to be your lawful wedded husband? concludes a disapproval for those so loyal to the traditions of their own culture. The disapproval normally coming from elders who envisioned their descendents and offspring to marry from within their own tribe, in that they repeat their ancestors history; speaking the common language, and bearing children of the same, passing down to them the language, traditions and culture.
The name Adedayo is a masculine name from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and Ndidi, a feminine name from the Ibo tribe of the same country. These names mean more than just crowned with joy and patience, but they represent…Differences. Differences that make it uneasy for family to accept the in-law and become a family united.
An unfortunate reality still remains there are stereotypes. No group is an exception so undoubtedly people have ideas they hold as standard about Ibo’s. Lasting views from a national standpoint and its citizens are that Ibo’s possess a sinful greed towards money and are ill-mannered. These general viewpoints would naturally make the family apprehensive in having their loved one engage in a marriage, much less a relationship. Moreover, when it comes to an Ibo marrying a person from the Yoruba culture elders too find the matrimony to be unsettling. Their worries are that the women would be taken advantage of and wrongfully treated, one concern being the belief that the men have wondering eyes, often leading to infidelity. The younger generation may also adopt a negative outlook once they notice that it took a girl from another tribe to fancy the bachelor into marriage, despite there being so many eligible bachelorettes to choose from within his own group. The nerve!
To satisfy everyone is impossible mainly because everyone has an opinion about who to be happy with. Instead there are barriers of stereotype that must cease in order that the in-law feels welcome into the family. Otherwise it becomes a cycle; a negative attitude born based on treatment of the family who won’t accept the in-law as their own. Understand, intertribal marriage is done not out of rebellion but out of love.
When the man asks the women for her hand in marriage, normally such proposal is carried out by the man on bended knee. In the Yoruba culture the proper way to greet elders is by bowing before them with the knees meeting the ground as a sign of respect, and for Ndidi, an Ibo girl now married to a Yoruba man she must adopt the culture as her own, and as a start greet on bended knee, one new adjustment in an intertribal marriage.
By Ashley I. Okonkwo
Photo Credit: http://cassandrabromfieldblogs.blogspot.com/2009/07/igbankwu.html