So today Tutu invited us to an Ethiopian Orthodox family wedding. Wow! What an incredibly special experience it was – serene and reflective at the beginning of the celebrations and wild and colourful once the dancing had begun. Even a brief power-cut was not enough to dampen everyone’s spirits.
Tutu has eight brothers and sisters – not unusual in Ethiopia. Tutu’s Mum Asnakech had all her children between the age of 13 and 27 – she still looks absolutely amazing.
In what is indicative of Ethiopian generosity, Tutu’s parents also raised three other children from the countryside in the family home and looked after them until they were teenagers. One of those children was Haymanot – she lived with Tutu’s family from the age of 6 and returned to her parents for special occasions like Christmas and Easter. Tutu says that Haymanot is like a sister to her,
There was a delicious spread of food at the wedding, including injera (Ethiopian pancakes), tibs (meat), a variety of vegetable dishes and also a raw minced meat dish (kitfo). What differentiated this wedding from a British one is that most people were drinking soft drinks not alcohol, and the exuberance of the guests came from dancing not alcohol.
The highlight of the afternoon was dancing with some priests from Haymanot’s home village. It was so much fun! They were all very wild dancers and had great senses of humour. Very impressive indeed. I certainly need to practice my shoulder-shaking moves for next time…