Global Images Contest 2009-2010

Culture of Exchange at a Ghanaian Wedding


This is Ayisha on her wedding day. She is holding my wedding gift from my motherland: a fan depicting a traditional Korean wedding. Her husband is Ali, the Ghanaian coordinator of Unite For Sight Inc. in the Northern Region of Ghana. They have been married for ten years before having the official wedding ceremony with their extended family and the UFS volunteers. It was a traditional Muslim wedding that took place in the local mosque and the couple?s house for two days. The house was packed and there were boom boxes playing festive music. When the UFS volunteers joined the party dressed in Ghanaian outfits custom-made that morning, the women put embroidered head scarves on us and invited us to dance. The ceremony included some interesting exchanges. The husband?s family provided food and lodging for the guests and the wife and her relatives had to ?sell water? to the husband?s side. The purpose of this tradition is to symbolize that the husband and his family has paid for the water the wife will provide for the husband in their marriage. In contrary to the stereotypes of polygamy in this region, Ali says that one wife is all he wants and he treats her like a queen. Ayisha loves to take good care of Ali while he works hard to take care of 2.2 million people?s eyes in the Northern Region.

Haeinn Woo ’11