“Send of” celebration in modern Tanzania
Glady has been travelling all the way from Dar Es Salaam to Arusha to have her Send of celebration at the home of her family in Arusha. She is the niece of Msafiri. During this celebration her family send her of to have a new life with her husband. It is like cutting the navel cord for the second time. The celebration starts at 7.00 pm but before that moment everybody is preparing and dressing and making sure everything is okay and looking their best. Glady looks beautiful in her pink dress. She is surrounded by many young unmarried girls that wear her veils and several young unmarried boys. They laugh a lot together. Africans laugh much about everything. It sometimes makes me forget about the harship of their lifesWhen they are ready they are having a photoshoot in the garden. It is a classical, traditional decor. Everything is beautifully decorated with great care. But it is good to realize how long the family has to save money to give their daughter the party of her life.
In Tanzania the local people do not have much leisure activities. They just hang around without jobs. When they have jobs, they mostly work very hard for low salaries. The rare events they can enjoy are weddings. The other event they have to deal with are funerals. I have followed Msafiri going to one funeral after another in the past years. It is normal to him and death is a close friend in his life.
Glady gets her special day. At 7.00 pm her future husband joins her. They eat together and there is cake. After eating Glady and her family get gifts. Many of the gifts are for the house and for cooking.
After the celebration there is music and people can dance but Msafiri tells me that people do not dance anymore, only children and young people. Somehow adults want to go home. Getting home in the night is a problem in Tanzania. At 7.00 pm Arusha falls into darkness. And darkness means danger. So people rather stay at home then going out to clubs or other nice places.
The wedding will allways be at the hometown of the husband. The family will have to travel 12 hours to get there. A special detail with weddings is that they drive through the centre of town with a lot of cars. Every roundabout (‘keepy lefti’ in Swahili) is taken more then once and they are accompanied by a complete band at one of the cars.