By NJ Correspondent:
The district administration of Beled Hawo town in Somalia’s Gedo region has set a limit on marriage expenses in a bid to foster legal unions in the town which borders Kenya’s Mandera County.
The decree, set and released this week in collaboration with local elders and religious leaders sets the bride price at US dollars 100, an equivalent of Kshs 10,000 with the provision of slaughtering up to three goats during the marriage ceremony.
“We are totally discouraging lavish spending and wastages as is becoming the craze among the people all over World.” Said an elder who identified himself as only Ahmed.
“We did this because when marriages become expensive, zinaa (promiscuity) becomes cheap” he added.
Speaking to Nep Journal on phone, Ahmed urged members of the Somali community to simplify marriages as was the tradition before the advent of the modern craze.
Men have a reason to smile after they were given the green light to put up a house in accordance with their financial ability, the minimum of which is a bed enough to fit the newlyweds.
It is estimated the average Somali couple incur minimum expenses to the tune of Kshs 1M in modern day marriages.
Hiring of halls or tents, motorcades, video recording of the event, slaughter of camels and goats as well as make ups and expensive jewelry for the bride, not to mention the fully furnished houses are some of the areas where most of the spending is done.
Most youth find the escalating costs beyond their reach thereby resorting to practices there were erstwhile a taboo among the Somali communities such as long and fruitless boy – girl relationships.