Thursday, 30th September, 2021
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Beating to earn a wife - Fulani
Africa has numerous ethnic nationalities all with varying qualities such as language, dishes, greetings, and dances. All African peoples share a series of dominant cultural traits which distinguish African Culture from the rest of the world. Expressions of culture are abundant within Africa, with large amounts of cultural diversity being found not only across different countries but also within single countries. The governments of most African nations encourage national dance and music groups, museums, and art galleries.
Africa is a beautiful continent endowed with thousands of beautiful cultures such as music, language, food, among other traditional practices. Surprisingly, some of these are known, and others unknown. These ethnic communities practice certain traditions that will leave some people shocked and others fascinated.
"Sharo" is a traditional cultural practice observed amongst the Fulani group in Nigeria. These young Fulani men in Nigeria compete to find a wife. The partakers are beaten with wooden sticks and canes to test their strength. In some parts of the Fulani in the Northern-Nigeria community, men who are willing to marry do not get the liberty to just approach the bride and popping the question.
‘Sharo' culture involves flogging only. Throughout the period of this exercise, the crowd is gathered at a particular place to observe the whole thing. The groom is then beaten up by the older members of the community just to test his endurance. If the man is not strong enough to bear the pain, the wedding is called cancelled. Many young people from this tribe have perished to flogging.
But the practice has declined in recent years, with some Fulani men describing it as dangerous and forbidden in Islam. Other dowry alternatives include 'Koowgal', which is a dowry payment option, or the 'Kabbal', an Islamic ceremony similar to marriage but in the absence of the bride and groom. When the groom is unable to undergo the sharo, he can decide to talk to the bride's family to consider the 'Kabbal' option.
What strange traditions do you also have in your country? Tell us.
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