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mmarlo

Paying the Brideprice

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Kenya
Timeline

I'm wondering how others are dealing with the brideprice and other traditional issues associated with marriage. In our case, I will be paying the brideprice in cash (200,000 KSh--slightly under $3000). We didn't negotiate the brideprice in the normal way either, with me delaring my intentions and then representatives for me (my parents) coming to negotiate with her Godparents. Their airline tickets alone would have cost as much as the brideprice, and I'm not sure my parents would have enjoyed the pit latrine and lack of electricity in Meru! There will be no exchange of livestock, or small gifts of sugar, honey, or traditional drinks, although separate from the wedding, we do of course take lots of small gifts and groceries when we have had the chance to visit her traditional home.

I would have liked to have had a wedding party with her my fiancee's family before I left back for the US, but there just wasn't time. So now what we'd like to do is have the courthouse wedding here soon after she arrives, to meet the requirements of the law, and then plan something more interesting for my friends and family here and for her friends and family there the next time we have a chance and can afford to go back to Kenya--maybe sometime in summer 2008 or during the Christmas holidays of 2008-9. I hope we can fulfill more of the traditional obligations then, although her parents are very flexible to the whole situation and understand that the expectations completely change in our case (compared to her sister, who is marrying a Kenyan from the Kamba tribe), which is why we simply went with a cash deal, with literally no negotiations. In fact, it was Jacinta who talked to her parents about me and told them to tell her what they wanted. Her dad wanted to consult with some elders (because she is the first-born and her younger sister didn't get engaged until after we did), but her mom was like, "no, just give her a figure".


APR 25, 2006 ARRIVE IN KENYA FOR PH.D. DISSERTATION RESEARCH

JUL 07, 2006 MEET AT CHECK-INN CLUB IN BUSIA, KENYA

SEPT 25, 2006 RETURN TO US

OCT 18, 2006 I129F SUBMITTED

OCT 24, 2006 NOA1 I129F

OCT 24, 2006 BACK TO KENYA

NOV 18, 2006 PROPOSED IN MOMBASA, KENYA (SHE SAID "YES"!)

DEC 26, 2006 NOA2 I129F

DEC 27, 2006 RETURN FROM KENYA

JANUARY, 2006 NVC CAN'T LOCATE PETITION

FEB 14, 2007 LETTERS SENT TO CONGRESSMEN

FEB 15, 2007 CIS CUSTOMER SERVICE SENDS EMAIL TO CSC REQUESTING TRACE ON MY PETITION (SHOULD HEAR BACK W/IN 45 DAYS)

FEB 19, 2007 APPROVED PETITION TOUCHED

FEB 21, 2007 EMAIL FROM CONGRESSMAN'S OFFICE SAYING PETITION HAS JUST BEEN RECEIVED BY NVC

FEB 23, 2007 PETITION SENT TO US EMBASSY IN NAIROBI, KENYA

MAR 5, 2007 PICKED UP PACKET 3/4 FROM EMBASSY

MAR 26, 2007 RETURNED PACKET 3 TO EMBASSY

APR 12, 2007 RETURNED MEDICAL EXAM RESULTS TO EMBASSY, HAD INTERVIEW, AND WAS APPROVED!

APR 26, 2007 PICKED-UP VISA FROM EMBASSY

APR 28-29, 2007 NAIROBI-ZURICH-CHICAGO-DETROIT-ANN ARBOR

JUL 3, 2007 WEDDING IN LAS VEGAS

JUL 30, 2007 MAIL AOS, EAD, AP APPLICATIONS

SEPT 8, 2007 CHECK CASHED

OCT 24, 2007 AP APPROVED

NOV 5, 2007 EAD APPROVED

NOV 6, 2007 EAD IN MAIL

JAN 22, 2008 INTERVIEW -- APPROVED!

Jacinta is a conditional permanent resident alien!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ghana
Timeline

As I am the female and the American, I didn't have to deal with this directly. I did however have at least two friends that did. For both of them, they sat down themselves with their fiancee's parents to discuss what they wanted to do. I think at least one of them had other friends in the village who sat with them in place of his parents to represent him (he bought them beer later to compensate). They discussed what would be a typical bride price and how they would handle it. For one of them, the typical price would be two cows (plus a few other things). So he found out the cost of two cows and paid them the amount in cash b/c the family was trying to hide the fact that their daughter was marrying a white man (using local terms, this just means someone not from Africa) (for discrimination - begging - purposes). The other man that I know of, went more traditionally and actually bought whatever livestock they recommended and even had a traditional marriage ceremony.

Good luck!


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12-12-08 - Card production ordered! Yay!

12-30-08 - 10 year card received! Yay!

Naturalization

01-12-10 - Mailed application

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02-16-10 - Biometrics

04-21-10 - Interview

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Kenya
Timeline

So your husband didn't insist on paying your parents the brideprice!? How unfair!

I guess I'm lucky I'm not marrying a Bukusu (sub-tribe of Luhya tribe in Kenya) or a Sudanese woman. The brideprice for my friend's wife was 13 cows (a set price among the Bukusu), about $1500 cash, and other gifts. The good thing there is that you can pay in installments, otherwise most men would become quite old before they can enjoy time with their wives!

I saw some program the other day, maybe Oprah or something on National Geographic or something, where the brideprice for the Sudanese woman was 100 cows. How anyone can afford that is beyond me. Maybe that partly explains all the cattle-theiving.


APR 25, 2006 ARRIVE IN KENYA FOR PH.D. DISSERTATION RESEARCH

JUL 07, 2006 MEET AT CHECK-INN CLUB IN BUSIA, KENYA

SEPT 25, 2006 RETURN TO US

OCT 18, 2006 I129F SUBMITTED

OCT 24, 2006 NOA1 I129F

OCT 24, 2006 BACK TO KENYA

NOV 18, 2006 PROPOSED IN MOMBASA, KENYA (SHE SAID "YES"!)

DEC 26, 2006 NOA2 I129F

DEC 27, 2006 RETURN FROM KENYA

JANUARY, 2006 NVC CAN'T LOCATE PETITION

FEB 14, 2007 LETTERS SENT TO CONGRESSMEN

FEB 15, 2007 CIS CUSTOMER SERVICE SENDS EMAIL TO CSC REQUESTING TRACE ON MY PETITION (SHOULD HEAR BACK W/IN 45 DAYS)

FEB 19, 2007 APPROVED PETITION TOUCHED

FEB 21, 2007 EMAIL FROM CONGRESSMAN'S OFFICE SAYING PETITION HAS JUST BEEN RECEIVED BY NVC

FEB 23, 2007 PETITION SENT TO US EMBASSY IN NAIROBI, KENYA

MAR 5, 2007 PICKED UP PACKET 3/4 FROM EMBASSY

MAR 26, 2007 RETURNED PACKET 3 TO EMBASSY

APR 12, 2007 RETURNED MEDICAL EXAM RESULTS TO EMBASSY, HAD INTERVIEW, AND WAS APPROVED!

APR 26, 2007 PICKED-UP VISA FROM EMBASSY

APR 28-29, 2007 NAIROBI-ZURICH-CHICAGO-DETROIT-ANN ARBOR

JUL 3, 2007 WEDDING IN LAS VEGAS

JUL 30, 2007 MAIL AOS, EAD, AP APPLICATIONS

SEPT 8, 2007 CHECK CASHED

OCT 24, 2007 AP APPROVED

NOV 5, 2007 EAD APPROVED

NOV 6, 2007 EAD IN MAIL

JAN 22, 2008 INTERVIEW -- APPROVED!

Jacinta is a conditional permanent resident alien!

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Filed: Country: Senegal
Timeline

Ah, memories !

My fiance paid a cash price for me .....I was on sale :o and the negotiations

were amusing. My " god father " who represented my side of the family insisted

that he realize my "worth " but I told him to take it easy and not set it too high.

It is custom for the bride price to be distributed to the brides family, the bride alone

or the couple.

Knowing it would get back to us I didn't mind him not paying so much.

I would have loved to see the look on my families faces :blink: during the whole thing.

The negotiations went something like this :

His side....we saw an angel in your village and want one of ours to have her.

My side....which angel are you speaking of, we have many.

His side....the most beautiful one we want to have.

My side....we agree but if you won't treat her well we will come back for her. What will you do if any man will steal her from you ?

My fiances answer : kill him.

My side : so shall you have her for the price of .......

Aaaaaaahhhhhh it was very cool ! :)

The actual negotiations lasted weeks but I am giving the condensed nutshell version.

And speaking of nuts ...let us not forget the Kola nuts !

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Nigeria
Timeline

How incredibly fascinating. Gbenga told me about brideprices, but I insisted that he didn't have to do that for me. My parents don't expect him to "purchase" me. They only want him to take good care of me.

Maybe I should tell him they've changed their minds and see what he says I'm worth :lol:


I-129F

11/15/2007 = Package sent overnight Fedex to CSC

11/16/2007 = Package arrived at CSC

11/21/2007 = NOA1 (according to www.uscis.gov online case status)

11/26/2007 = Check cashed (YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!)

11/28/2007 = Touched

11/30/2007 = Rec'd NOA1 hard copy in the mail

12/20/2007 = Touched

12/21/2007 = Touched

03/12/2008 = Touched (due to phone call)

03/24/2008 = NOA2!!!!!!!!!

03/25/2008 = Touched

04/23/2008 = Touched

05/05/2008 = Arrived at Consulate

05/12/2008 = Picked up Packets 3 & 4

06/24/2008 = Interview Date and APPROVAL

07/02/2008 = Picked up Visa at Embassy

07/05/2008 = Arrival in the U.S.!!!!!!!!! Met at POE in ATLANTA

07/06/2008 = Fly back to Salt Lake City Together!!!!

08/06/2008 = MARRIED TODAY!!!

AOS & EAD

08/23/2008 = Package sent via USPS with Signature Confirmation

08/25/2008 = Package arrived in Chicago

08/26/2008 = Check cashed

09/02/2008 = NOA1 for EAD and AOS received in the mail.

4400355_bodyshot_300x400.gif4400923_bodyshot_300x400.gif

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Filed: Country: Senegal
Timeline
How incredibly fascinating. Gbenga told me about brideprices, but I insisted that he didn't have to do that for me. My parents don't expect him to "purchase" me. They only want him to take good care of me.

Maybe I should tell him they've changed their minds and see what he says I'm worth :lol:

:lol: as long as you don't get yor feelings hurt if it is just one goat !

Seriously, it is a fun thing to do to experience the culture of our SO in this way.

Glad I did it.

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I had never heard of this tradition until I was talking to my good friend and he told me about it when I told him that I was engaged to my honey. Funny thing is we have never discussed the issue. Ummm maybe a topic for tomorrow's conversation....Hey, you did not pay for me!!!!! :lol:

Edited by forchika

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7/24/09 Rcvd I-797C, NOA from VSC

7/29/09 Rcvd Biometric letter...biometrics appt 8/18/09

11/24/09 Rcvd ROC approval ltr...dated 11/18/09

12/04/09 Rcvd 10 yr Green Card in mail

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Filed: Timeline

I remember learning about the brideprice in sociology, a couple years ago. I didn't know my fiance then and have forgotten all about it, until you write about it now. The issue was never brought up between my fiance and I, or his family. Also, my fiance's sister got married last year in Accra. They didn't do it either, I wonder if some families have done away with it. I'm going to ask my fiance tomorrow. It's an interesting subject.

During our engagement some of his family members were giving a tray full of things, like gifts, to his uncle(who was posing as a family member of mine). I didn't really understand the whole process. Anyway, I'm going to ask my fiance.

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Filed: Country: Senegal
Timeline
I remember learning about the brideprice in sociology, a couple years ago. I didn't know my fiance then and have forgotten all about it, until you write about it now. The issue was never brought up between my fiance and I, or his family. Also, my fiance's sister got married last year in Accra. They didn't do it either, I wonder if some families have done away with it. I'm going to ask my fiance tomorrow. It's an interesting subject.

During our engagement some of his family members were giving a tray full of things, like gifts, to his uncle(who was posing as a family member of mine). I didn't really understand the whole process. Anyway, I'm going to ask my fiance.

The gifts to the uncle representing your side of the family sound like a traditional custom

instead of the cash or livestock bride price.

With African countries getting increasingly "modernized with western ideas" the

' traditional ' bride price custom seems to fade more with younger generations, especially in the

city. Kind of sad.

The custom is still upheld in villages and smaller towns and also depends on how deeply

ingrained the customs are in each family clan.

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Kenya
Timeline

In East Africa, I have seen that even in city life, the bride price is still very important, especially since most families in the city still have country homes or certainly family in the village. I'm surprised that the tradition is fading faster in some parts of West Africa, but maybe that custom isn't as important as some others so it could be more easily lost. In East Africa, funerals and weddings are so ritualized that even as other things change, many of those customs remain the same.


APR 25, 2006 ARRIVE IN KENYA FOR PH.D. DISSERTATION RESEARCH

JUL 07, 2006 MEET AT CHECK-INN CLUB IN BUSIA, KENYA

SEPT 25, 2006 RETURN TO US

OCT 18, 2006 I129F SUBMITTED

OCT 24, 2006 NOA1 I129F

OCT 24, 2006 BACK TO KENYA

NOV 18, 2006 PROPOSED IN MOMBASA, KENYA (SHE SAID "YES"!)

DEC 26, 2006 NOA2 I129F

DEC 27, 2006 RETURN FROM KENYA

JANUARY, 2006 NVC CAN'T LOCATE PETITION

FEB 14, 2007 LETTERS SENT TO CONGRESSMEN

FEB 15, 2007 CIS CUSTOMER SERVICE SENDS EMAIL TO CSC REQUESTING TRACE ON MY PETITION (SHOULD HEAR BACK W/IN 45 DAYS)

FEB 19, 2007 APPROVED PETITION TOUCHED

FEB 21, 2007 EMAIL FROM CONGRESSMAN'S OFFICE SAYING PETITION HAS JUST BEEN RECEIVED BY NVC

FEB 23, 2007 PETITION SENT TO US EMBASSY IN NAIROBI, KENYA

MAR 5, 2007 PICKED UP PACKET 3/4 FROM EMBASSY

MAR 26, 2007 RETURNED PACKET 3 TO EMBASSY

APR 12, 2007 RETURNED MEDICAL EXAM RESULTS TO EMBASSY, HAD INTERVIEW, AND WAS APPROVED!

APR 26, 2007 PICKED-UP VISA FROM EMBASSY

APR 28-29, 2007 NAIROBI-ZURICH-CHICAGO-DETROIT-ANN ARBOR

JUL 3, 2007 WEDDING IN LAS VEGAS

JUL 30, 2007 MAIL AOS, EAD, AP APPLICATIONS

SEPT 8, 2007 CHECK CASHED

OCT 24, 2007 AP APPROVED

NOV 5, 2007 EAD APPROVED

NOV 6, 2007 EAD IN MAIL

JAN 22, 2008 INTERVIEW -- APPROVED!

Jacinta is a conditional permanent resident alien!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ghana
Timeline

We had to promise all of O's family before we left Ghana that we would be back in a couple of years to be married in a traditional ceremony. It's very important to keep some sense of tradition of the non-USC (and interesting, too!). The whole mystique around going to the U.S. makes the U.S. seem so superior or like some shangri-la sometimes (that was the perception in Ghana), and that left O feeling defensive for Ghana (me, too). And here, people don't always know where Ghana is or say ignorant things like "Do you have television over there?" I think the more I celebrate Ghana when we're here in the U.S., the more comfortable O feels.

As for my bride price, I watch O walk out into the winter cold to work and watch him try to will his minestrone to turn into palmnut soup and I consider my price paid! ;) Although now that I think of it, it might make him feel good to have to come up with a bride price....hmmm......


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2/19/10 Received text message and email notification of application received, check cashed

2/27/10 Received biometrics appointment letter

3/19/10 Biometrics appointment

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3/27/10 Received interview letter (dated 3/24/10)

4/28/10 Interview appointment

6/5/10 Received oath letter (dated 6/1/10)

6/29/10 Oath ceremony date

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Nigeria
Timeline
How incredibly fascinating. Gbenga told me about brideprices, but I insisted that he didn't have to do that for me. My parents don't expect him to "purchase" me. They only want him to take good care of me.

Maybe I should tell him they've changed their minds and see what he says I'm worth :lol:

:lol: as long as you don't get yor feelings hurt if it is just one goat !

Seriously, it is a fun thing to do to experience the culture of our SO in this way.

Glad I did it.

My fiance explained to me how things would happen if we were to follow this tradition. He told me what he thinks I'm worth and it's definitely more than one goat!! :D


I-129F

11/15/2007 = Package sent overnight Fedex to CSC

11/16/2007 = Package arrived at CSC

11/21/2007 = NOA1 (according to www.uscis.gov online case status)

11/26/2007 = Check cashed (YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!)

11/28/2007 = Touched

11/30/2007 = Rec'd NOA1 hard copy in the mail

12/20/2007 = Touched

12/21/2007 = Touched

03/12/2008 = Touched (due to phone call)

03/24/2008 = NOA2!!!!!!!!!

03/25/2008 = Touched

04/23/2008 = Touched

05/05/2008 = Arrived at Consulate

05/12/2008 = Picked up Packets 3 & 4

06/24/2008 = Interview Date and APPROVAL

07/02/2008 = Picked up Visa at Embassy

07/05/2008 = Arrival in the U.S.!!!!!!!!! Met at POE in ATLANTA

07/06/2008 = Fly back to Salt Lake City Together!!!!

08/06/2008 = MARRIED TODAY!!!

AOS & EAD

08/23/2008 = Package sent via USPS with Signature Confirmation

08/25/2008 = Package arrived in Chicago

08/26/2008 = Check cashed

09/02/2008 = NOA1 for EAD and AOS received in the mail.

4400355_bodyshot_300x400.gif4400923_bodyshot_300x400.gif

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Kenya
Timeline

I forgot one thing that I think is funny. There are certain "penalties" where you'll have to pay extra--if you're already living together, if you've already had a "taste", so to speak, etc. We went with the quick and dirty negotiations to avoid having to discuss those little details. :-)


APR 25, 2006 ARRIVE IN KENYA FOR PH.D. DISSERTATION RESEARCH

JUL 07, 2006 MEET AT CHECK-INN CLUB IN BUSIA, KENYA

SEPT 25, 2006 RETURN TO US

OCT 18, 2006 I129F SUBMITTED

OCT 24, 2006 NOA1 I129F

OCT 24, 2006 BACK TO KENYA

NOV 18, 2006 PROPOSED IN MOMBASA, KENYA (SHE SAID "YES"!)

DEC 26, 2006 NOA2 I129F

DEC 27, 2006 RETURN FROM KENYA

JANUARY, 2006 NVC CAN'T LOCATE PETITION

FEB 14, 2007 LETTERS SENT TO CONGRESSMEN

FEB 15, 2007 CIS CUSTOMER SERVICE SENDS EMAIL TO CSC REQUESTING TRACE ON MY PETITION (SHOULD HEAR BACK W/IN 45 DAYS)

FEB 19, 2007 APPROVED PETITION TOUCHED

FEB 21, 2007 EMAIL FROM CONGRESSMAN'S OFFICE SAYING PETITION HAS JUST BEEN RECEIVED BY NVC

FEB 23, 2007 PETITION SENT TO US EMBASSY IN NAIROBI, KENYA

MAR 5, 2007 PICKED UP PACKET 3/4 FROM EMBASSY

MAR 26, 2007 RETURNED PACKET 3 TO EMBASSY

APR 12, 2007 RETURNED MEDICAL EXAM RESULTS TO EMBASSY, HAD INTERVIEW, AND WAS APPROVED!

APR 26, 2007 PICKED-UP VISA FROM EMBASSY

APR 28-29, 2007 NAIROBI-ZURICH-CHICAGO-DETROIT-ANN ARBOR

JUL 3, 2007 WEDDING IN LAS VEGAS

JUL 30, 2007 MAIL AOS, EAD, AP APPLICATIONS

SEPT 8, 2007 CHECK CASHED

OCT 24, 2007 AP APPROVED

NOV 5, 2007 EAD APPROVED

NOV 6, 2007 EAD IN MAIL

JAN 22, 2008 INTERVIEW -- APPROVED!

Jacinta is a conditional permanent resident alien!

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Filed: Country: Senegal
Timeline
I forgot one thing that I think is funny. There are certain "penalties" where you'll have to pay extra--if you're already living together, if you've already had a "taste", so to speak, etc. We went with the quick and dirty negotiations to avoid having to discuss those little details. :-)

very wise indeed ! ;)

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline
I forgot one thing that I think is funny. There are certain "penalties" where you'll have to pay extra--if you're already living together, if you've already had a "taste", so to speak, etc. We went with the quick and dirty negotiations to avoid having to discuss those little details. :-)

very wise indeed ! ;)

Myself and my fiancee are from Nigeria and you don't wanna know the list of things am going to present to my in-laws when we go for the traditional wedding....PHEW! All in all she means a lot to me more than money can ever buy. :dance::dance::dance::dance::dance:

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