Category: Opinions Written by The Nation Mirror Admin
Let’s borrow a leaf from Tonj youth and call upon the elders and state government to regulate the amount of dowry. Everything has now become loose that everyone is not married and everyone is not getting married. We are all getting old in our parents homestead because we are not affording the dowry. And if it is said that let dowry be at 5-10 cows and accepted as a policy, no one will complain. You just go and pay your five cows today and the same five cows will be given to the parents of your brother-in-law’s family and parents. Today, if you pay 300 cows to your in-laws as dowry and you tomorrow divorce with your wife, you will just be given back 30 cows – that is what our Dinka Bor customary law says. You charge somebody’s son expensively today and might be that is your only daughter while you have four to five sons, what will you do when time comes for them to marry because the charges will be as how you charged your daughter’s husband? You go steal? May be that! Others are like, ‘the reasons why girls are expensive is a making of their fathers and blame the fathers for slowly increasing the bride price to where it stands now and some few callers (certain uncle of mine, on phone) put the blame on the gentlemen that, ‘youth are the problem because upon entangling themselves in competition they pay as much as possible even calling their friends to help contribute and loaning from the banks, ‘but the truth is’ I answered, ‘you prefer the wealthiest ones at the expense of the other at the end as the father’. He precisely answered that, ‘dogs do not actually prefer bones to meat, it is just that no one ever gives them meat and if it is given meat, it (dog) will of course happily crave it more than the bone and want not to see it (bone) again and was also questioning how one can reject the food that,” it is coming from a wrong person”. He was accusing the youth until the call ended but I believe that if a mother steals with the child trapped in the bag at the back, what do you expect of the child? Of course learn from the mother! Though the girls I am talking about are our fathers’ daughters, they are still our sisters and for these, we can submit to what our fathers say if they decide something.
We really need to talk and stop the accusations of who started what, for which reason, how and when, but to act in abolition of something here.
Have you ever purchased a cloth from the market? Once you pay the money after having bargained for long in the belief that the seller is trying to cheat you by pricing it expensively, it is up to you to either on that very spot tear it, burn it or throw it away.
And so is it to the goats and cows, it is all in your hands to slaughter it, re-sell it, or willingly give it out. It is what you have paid for it that invigorates you to either unhealthily or healthily work on it your own style. This is applied to anything you buy. The link that connects you with its seller is broken by what you pay for it and the relationship exists no-more what so ever between you and the seller. It automatically becomes your own workshop, your business – seller out! Now that it has been extended to marriages – that girls/daughters are being made as projects by their fathers and brothers, then we have got serious things to talk about here; the major thing and perhaps the main front/campaign is to help the cultures and traditions from complete burial, and to do this is to stop the serious goons who have caught it on one end not to tear it entirely apart. So let us save the already crippled cultures and traditions. The word “marriage” as a cultural branch is losing its values, meaning and contents and is molding into something of an enigma – business or companies may be, or may be not but perhaps something of the sort.
It has been hijacked, re-designed, re-diffused and re-distributed by our monyjang mafias, our very own brothers of social class – flying birds of the same feathers walking in the round with their arms akimbo, our red-eyed colleagues who have misconstrued the fortune of terribly sucking the tits of God to mean moving around laughing and bulling the unfortunate ones!
The god-forbid poor ones are at their own level trying to copy the mafias climbing style but they are like chasing the sun. They are reaching no-where (still find themselves where they started climbing), they are on their way but do not know where they are going, stacked somewhere between heaven and Earth awaiting a terrible fall that is more likely to break their hearts.
When our old, cold and small-hearted, wise men decided that, ‘let the marital bride end at 30 and 31 cows’ (though not fair enough) in their own wisdom, it was moderation and justification of bride price to the reasonable one that really depicts the actual meaning of marriage and relationship, not business!
And when our out-side brothers, tharafin, custom officials (other red-eyed in the world of fame in matrimonial panorama) and other self-hired harvesters of civilians farms and gardens, it is fame, and this is why they rush and wed thereafter without understanding its (wedding) reasons.
To many of them, wedding means show of fame, luxury, wealth and power and girls have taken pride of that because women themselves love something to brag about hurling words proudly like, ‘you know daughter of my mama, my wedding was the most colorful, in fact the best one in South Sudan since independence’. Addicting them to lies! If you sell out your girl/daughter at that discriminative and unfair price then where is the “relationship (ruaai)” here?
And once someone has paid all that to you, and the buyer maintain her like a goat or cow (god-forbid) upon buying it from the market, are you well aware that you will never have a say because you were just a seller and your ownership just ended as soon as you received the money?
Traditionally, the sons and daughters of witch doctors and thieves were not allowed to marry or to be married unless you did not know but are we seeing the same thing now? That is one good thing with Christianity; witch-crafts are fading out and no longer a big deal nowadays.
But is the modern importance and fame not thievery now? Something that goes against Dinka cultural norms!
Now that a lot is charged on men, what do you expect your daughter to eat in her home with her husband thereafter that you mind only your belly since she is a human not an animal, say herbivorous to feed on grass and plants?
And now that you demand all that and still come back tomorrow looking for help in the name of the chain of relationship are you not ashamed of yourself?
You sold her and again tiptoeing back boldly, shamelessly and shylessly and say, ‘monyde nyandie (my daughter’s husband) this and monyde nyandie that because your ticket of looking at the people in the image of foods, money and goods has been updated by the children your daughter has produced with her husband.
Many youth have something to cater for their families but have nothing to marry and for this, we prefer marrying the non-Dinkas who understand what marriage really is. They are only your (our) daughters to grow grey heir in your homesteads not us-gentlemen! I doubt if a non-Dinka can afford your amount to marry a Dinka girl
Love and respect are some of the things that keep the fire of marriage burning, long lasting and valuable.
All these payments are against the chain of relationship that exists and remain forever.
There was a time I thought that Dinka people were keeping God’s promise of ‘go and fill the Earth’ but again we are enemies to that promise now, real enemies, enemies in camouflage, only few can afford the contemporary marital dowries but the vast majority cannot and therefore cannot marry to fill the Earth so we are true Enemies in disguise to that statement and so we are as well enemies to our own self by not giving a chance to fill up the population vacuum left by the 15th Dec 2013 to be replaced.
When our first parents came on Earth, they first appeared in the image of one person – Adam and later got Eve molded out of his rib. Adam paid no dowry to the molder (God) and God himself expected us to follow suit but now we are seeing the unimaginative riddle!
This is a message to the monyjang to sit and decide something; something that will last for many years but this life style of “adopting and dropping” has never been known for us but we are now standing at its edge. The price is rude, bully and discriminative to Monyjang and deliberate corruption and manipulation of our cultures and traditions. This is not our original Dinka culture but a design by some self-seeking robbers and factions
……..to be continued (the next article will be solely centered on the worth of these expensive girls, are they really worth that price?)
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