Top 10 Cultural Practices To Understand Before Committing To A Bukusu Spouse
Embarking in a relationship with someone from another culture can be complex and challenging.After all, every community across the world has its own values and beliefs, and this extends to the qualities that make someone a desirable partner. Therefore, some people might consider being romantic or polite in your community might not be well received in your new one.
If you happen to be looking forward to settling down with a spouse from the Bukusu community, learning about the local dating scene and the mindset of the Bukusu people can really help your love life.
Bukusu is a subtribe of the Luhya community, one of the largest tribes in East and Central Africa. The community is mostly found in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties. The community boasts of unique indigenous cultural practices that will leave you fascinated. With this in mind, you must understand that Bukusu’s are exciting people with a rich cultural heritage and diversified practices from circumcision to marriage and death.
First, one needs to understand this culture because some are breathtaking; you need the courage to perform some of this culture though one might find them interesting at the end. It should not go without saying that Bukusu elders are considered the pillar guiding and presiding over cultural practices; performing culture is broad, rituals and cleansing are part of this culture. With the ongoing efforts to curb tribalism in the country through intermarriage, Kenyans need to understand a few things before committing to either of the 42 tribes.
1. Burial rights
Bukusu’s have a lot of respect for the dead; notably, they name siblings born after the death of their beloved once. However, the Bukusu community do not name kids after barren women or men; once a barren person dies, they chose to have the dead rest without disturbance. A special ritual is done to ensure the dead does not spell a barren curse to the generation.
Additionally, if husbands lost their wives during burial ceremonies, they cannot mingle with in-laws who are sisters to the deceased. Bukusus believes that in-laws, once they step on the toes of a grieving husband, might not remarry again. Interestingly, if a woman dies when the husband is yet to pay dowry, he will be forced to pay dowry before being allowed by the deceased’s family to bury the spouse.
2. Shaking hands with in-laws
Bukusus don’t shake hands to greet in-laws; this is an abomination according to Luhya traditional belief.
However, shaking hands with mother-in-law and daughters-in-law were regarded as a sign of respect in the past. This explains why Bukusus have the best relationship between two sides of in-laws. However, according to the culture, once the two shake hands knowing or unknowingly, a special ritual must be performed for cleansing.
3. Age sets
Referring to people who were circumcised in the same year is commonly known as ‘Bakule’ among the Kalenjin community. But in Bukusu, there are eight age sets known as ‘Bibingilo’. The age set group earn themselves respect to an extent; they can discipline wives and kids of their members.
However, no one is to overrule what another member has said. On one occasion, a lady ran away from a violent husband but was stopped and returned by age set member to the violent husband.
4. Specific food not allowed at in-laws until you pay dowry
TOP10.co.ke understands that some food are prepared for specific functions in Bukusuland. Eliud Khaoya from Nakayonjo village in Mukuyuni ward Kabuchai constituency told TOP10.co.ke that eating chicken at your in-laws, especially when you are yet to pay dowry, is taboo. He further added that one is not supposed to eat chicken at her boyfriend’s home when your fiancee visits you before one gets married.