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To kneel or not to kneel - The perfect marriage proposal

I was never the kind of woman that planned for her big day years in advance. In fact, as a child, I never even wanted to get married at all. But there was one thing I always knew for sure: if a man ever wanted to marry me, he would have to go down on one knee and propose.

However, things didn't go exactly as I had planned. In fact, up to this day, Ezwena insists that it is a "Western" concept to go on one's knee and that it is never done in Igbo culture (just like buying me flowers is, by the way).


I had to learn the hard way that Ezenwa is very proud of his Igbo heritage and will not do anything that goes against his cultural traditions. O bu nwa afor Igbo - you cannot convince him otherwise. So instead of going down on one knee, Ezenwa invited my family over for dinner and asked my father for my hand in marriage. I guess this was his way of showing his sincere and serious intentions and expressing his respect and admiration for me. And fortunately for him, my father had agreed.

It is exactly ten years since we married in St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Isuofia, Anambra State, Nigeria. A day we always love to remember. And as I was looking through some old pictures, I came across this particular photo.

It is a picture of when I went down on one knee to serve Ezenwa a slice of wedding cake. It made me laugh because I realized our marriage was sealed with someone going down on one knee, just not the person I had originally imagined.

"Cultural differences can sometimes mean your expectations are not met. However, those differences may actually allow your expectations to be exceeded."

Looking back, I have to acknowledge that it really did not matter how we got engaged. What matters is that our intentions were sincere and that we still, up until today, are committed to being together until death do us part.

So, what's my point? I may not have gotten the traditional proposal that I had dreamed of, but I ended up with the man I never dared to dream about. Cultural differences in a relationship can sometimes mean your expectations aren't met. However, if you are open to it, those differences may actually allow your expectations to be exceeded.

Last but not least

I decided always to end my blog posts with an Igbo proverb or quote and a song (not necessarily Igbo) that speaks to my heart. Feel free to share your favorite proverbs or a song you are currently listening to!

Igbo quote of the week:

Igbo Proverb: Mmiri mara ugo sara ugo ahụ

English Translation: The rain fell on the eagle and also bathed the eagle.

Meaning and Insight to Life: This proverb means that sometimes unfortunate events can turn out to be blessings in disguise

My song this week: Ada ada - Flavor


This blog is neither scientific research nor a social study; instead, it is written with much appreciation for the Igbo culture, from the subjective perspective of the author, based on personal experience. Generalizations must be read with care, as no truth is true for everyone. And most importantly, this blog is to be read with a smile and a pinch of salt (or pepper in this context)

1 Yorum

vitalis okoro
vitalis okoro
6 days ago

You truly love Ezenwa and by extension his roots. I didn't know you even had your wedding in his village church!

Traditionally, marriages are conducted between families. Which is why sometimes you're jocularly called "our wife"

An Igbo proverb states that"ọgọ bu ikwu atọ". Translated, your inlaw is your 3rd family, the 1st and 2nd being your father's side and your mother's side respectively.

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