Tag Archives: Traditions

Two years in the Peace Corps in numbers

Today is my second anniversary of arriving in Swaziland. Now I live in a country called eSwatini. Like the name of this country, many other things have changed. Or been broken, disappeared, or accumulated. When I first started thinking about … Continue reading

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“You’re a Swazi now” and my role as an ambassador, otherwise known as life as a PCV

I am regularly surprised when I surprise siSwati and isiZulu speakers with what I think are my poor language skills. Speaking a few words of the local language has always been important to me. I have spent many hours learning … Continue reading

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Introducing my parents to Swazi song and dance

For as much as I wanted work experience in Africa, my time as a PCV in Swaziland has largely been spent with me wholeheartedly embracing Swazi culture. After a few stops on our way to Swaziland from the Johannesburg airport, we started our … Continue reading

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A traditional Swazi wedding, part two: Lobola

After the teka, the bride will return to her parents’ homestead. Her family will need to decide on the bride’s price, and then the whole family will travel back to the groom’s homestead for the sitsinjana, or lobola negotiation. In … Continue reading

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Wednesday photo: Umtsimba dancing

A few months ago I participated in my first Swazi wedding. The bride had already been teka-ed and lobola was finally paid. The bride was my make’s elder sister, and I am guessing it had been 40 years since her … Continue reading

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A traditional wedding, part one: The teka

Making the bride cry tears of sadness because she is leaving her home and becoming part of another family is an integral part to first large segment of a traditional wedding. The teka follows the kujuma (sleepover), where the bride … Continue reading

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Embracing Swazi culture

In the two months that have passed since the end of Umhlanga, I have met so many astonished and proud Swazis and Zulus. People are still telling me that they saw me dancing and everyone is impressed. Some ask me … Continue reading

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A moment in my life: Sangoma in the house

So many entertaining things happen in my life in Swaziland. These are the moments I will want to remember because they make me laugh, and they show insight into my daily routine. These moments are often hard to photograph and … Continue reading

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A few more photos from dancing Umhlanga

Because I have so many wonderful photos from PCV Kirby at http://www.whatiskirbydoing.com, I want to share a few more of the Umhlanga ceremony. If you want to read more about my experience, check out day six  (delivering the reeds) and … Continue reading

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Day seven: Dancing time

The day of big dancing started off like every other day – with me unsure of what was going to happen. It turns out that Monday’s activities are a replica of Sunday’s, except that the reeds have already been delivered. … Continue reading

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