Inter-Tribal Marriage and Matters Arising | By Terfa Naswem
Inter-tribal marriage is a marriage in which someone marries from another tribe. This kind of marriage like many marriages could be enjoyable and as well as catastrophic depending on the level of understanding and sacrifices between the man and the woman.
The moment you make up your mind to marry someone from another tribe, sincerely ask yourself the following questions:
- Will I be able and willing to learn my partner’s language?
- Are there some cultural practices in my partner’s culture that are not acceptable in my culture?
- Will I be able to cope with whatever challenges that come as a result of cultural differences?
- Does his or her family love my tribe?
- If we marry, how can I balance my culture and that of my partner in our family?
- When we have children and they are growing up, aside from English, whose language should the children master first? My own or my partner’s?
These are questions that once you are sincere to yourself, you will get sincere answers and see if you can push forward or break up from the relationship.
A lot of things are involved in an inter-tribal marriage that most people take for granted because of love only to realize after a marriage that they both were in a hurry to marry or what they felt for each other was not actually love or they didn’t foresee what they face now.
For example, there are some tribes in Nigeria that eat dog meat, some eat pork some eat rat, some eat lizard and so on. If you are a woman who comes from a tribe that eating rat or pork is not acceptable or a taboo and you hate these and have never eaten them before and you are madly in love with a man who does not let any day pass by without eating them. What will you do? Will you marry him and cope with eating rat and pork or just let him go?
There are some tribes in Nigeria where if a woman marries from her tribe or another tribe and she dies, the corpse is buried in her father’s land and not the land of the husband. As a man from another tribe- where this is not acceptable – madly in love with a woman from a tribe like this, will you go ahead and marry her and forget about where she will be buried when she dies?
The above are a few examples among so many issues in inter-tribal marriage that prospective couples should take very seriously and see if they can weather- the- storm that comes in inter-tribal marriage.
Before you marry someone from another tribe, do thorough research about the person’s culture and see if there are things you cannot cope with. Once you find out that his or her culture has issues that you cannot bear, then you can respectfully bow out of the relationship than to go into marriage and later divorce only to find out that you cannot cope with certain cultural practices of his or hers.
The moment you finally decide after taking these things into consideration to marry from another tribe, you should never insult the norms, values or culture of your partner and be ready to cope with him or her to the end.
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Relationship, Marriage and Family Counselor,