Yep this week was the Swazi Reed Dance, culminating yesterday in the national holiday.
The Reed Dance is a big deal. It’s a really big deal; as in the biggest cultural event in all of Africa, with 90,000 girls signed up. Throughout the week we saw hundreds of men, women and girls dressed in traditional attire. Dozens of dump trucks filled with girls passed on the street during the week, and then yesterday (Aug. 31) the whole country congregated here, in Ezulwini, as the King chose his new wife.
We also got a nice view into the culture as we went to the National Museum last Monday. I particularly enjoyed the section on the cattle cycle that describes how wives and children are equivalent to cattle and thus, wealth.
But the work has seen great miracles this week as well. we were able to do multiple divisions throughout the zone/country this week. After we struggled to help them progress for weeks, Paulos and Noktula finally started diving into the Book of Mormon. It made a difference, because after they told us they weren’t going to attend our church, they called us Sunday morning as we were heading to the chapel to tell us that they were coming. That was an unexpected, but welcome miracle!
“Marriage is like a toilet– everyone wants to get in, and those who are in want to get out.”– Swazi Proverb (I’m trying to convince every man I meet that he needs to get married younger, but these cultural beliefs don’t help)