Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. The country shares borders with Kenya Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Indian Ocean.
Tanzanians are proud of their disciplined upbringing, the ability to keep control of one’s temper and emotions in public.
Tanzanians are not supposed to show mutual affection in public in daylight, although this rule is often broken in urban centers.
To show friendship or camaraderie, boys and men are commonly seen in public holding hands.
Meanwhile, in many rural areas, women are not supposed to smoke, talk in a raised voice, or cross their legs while sitting or standing.
Traditionally, elders are honored and respected by the rest of the community, although youth are increasingly challenging such customs as arranged marriages.
The domestic unit of society in Tanzania is still the family, though sometimes it can be extended.
The head of the family is the father, who makes all the decisions. The wife earns respect through her children. She is renamed after the birth of her first child.
A full-grown woman in Tanzania is not considered mature until she has given birth to a healthy child. In Tanzania, children eat separately, often with their mothers.
Marriage customs in Tanzania vary by ethnic group. However, the practice of clan exogamy—or marriage outside of the clan or group—is typical, of almost all ethnic groups.
Traditionally marriages are pre-arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, although such arrangements are becoming less common, particularly in urban settings.
Tanzanian marriage customs often include the presentation of a dowry or bride price to the wife’s family by the bridegroom.
The dowry, which is determined through negotiations between the families of the engaged, may include livestock, money, clothing, locally brewed beer, and other items. Wedding preparations may take months and may take several forms and stages ranging from a dowry ceremony to a traditional ceremony to the formal church wedding.
Most Tanzanian weddings take place on Sundays during the preferred time of year, which is Shawwal, the tenth month of the lunar Islamic calendar. Shawwal means to ‘lift or carry’; so named because female camels normally would be carrying a fetus at this time of year.
One of the Muslim wedding traditions in Tanzania is the custom that the Tanzanian bride is not permitted to attend the wedding celebration. After an excessive beauty preparation, the bride is to remain at home segregated from the wedding ceremony.
The bride should have never actually met her husband, she has only seen him through her veils, and of course the groom has never laid eyes on her. Only her family and relatives will attend the wedding celebration.
The celebration is very festive and it involves a lot of dancing. After the celebration, during the night, the bride patiently awaits for her new husband in a bed filled with the petals of fragrant flowers. The wedding night is the start of a Tanzanian honeymoon.
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