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Because Ethiopia is made up of so many ethnic groups, the events, rituals, and traditions listed here will vary depending on which ethnic group you belong to. Here are a few examples of these numerous customs: The Ga’at/Genfo event in Tigre culture is a gathering of the bride’s family’s women to make Ga’at/Genfo to commemorate the upcoming wedding. The bride and her female family members and friends gather for a beautifying ritual in Guragae culture, whereas in Harari culture, the bride wears her axlass and goes from house to house singing traditional songs with her single friends to invite relatives and friends to the wedding. Traditional Ethiopian marriages were arranged by the bride’s and groom’s families. Before the groom can propose to his future bride, he must first send “shimagelay,” or older relatives, to the bride’s parents’ house to plead for her hand in marriage. The bride’s family will initially oppose the marriage until the groom’s side has “sold” them on how the groom will provide for the bride and their future family, as well as what kind of caretaker he will be, the type of life the bride will have with him, and other qualities considered important in a husband. They will have a feast to honor the uniting of two families once both families have decided to marry.

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