The usage of palmwines given to brides by their fathers/guardians to go give their husbands as an indication that he’s the one she’s getting married to dates to thousands of years ago. The bride is being handed a traditionally crafted cup, Calabash cup or glass cup filled with palmwine and, as she arises from her kneeling position, she then carries the wine, walks around stylishly while in search of her man. Then, when she spots where he’s seated, she kneels before him, sips from the drink, hands the remaining to her man, who then finishes the drink and afterwards puts some cash into the cup. Together, he and his wife walk towards her father, they both kneel to hand over the cup carrying the cash to him and he blesses their union.
In the advent of the 21st century, the usage of palmwines during traditional weddings began to take the back seat. Couples barely use palmwines and when they are eventually handed a cup of it, they suspect it diabolic. As soon as the bride gives her husband the wine cup, he pretends to drink the palmwine and stylishly pours the drink away; doing it in such a way that no one would readily notice. Some cultures in Nigeria permit this while some others don’t. And, if you were to ask the couple why they did what they did, the response will most likely be “I dey fear village people wahala”.
For some couples, they prefer to use the wine they came with in order to avoid “stories that touch”. Overtime, there have been cases where a groom drinks palmwine given to him by his bride and, he either starts having stomach upset that leads to a dangerous ailment or, he dies. This became rampant for a very long time and, it was so scary. But, in order not to offend the cultures of the community they hail from, they then opt to use other kinds of drinks like juice, fruit wine and alcoholic wine. What’s important to them is that they obeyed traditional laws and customs but, they played safe.
Recently, brides have now began to ditch the traditional palmwine thing and go ahead to do what they want. Some have had sour experiences in times past and, they don’t want a repeat of it hence, their new stance. Cultures these days are gradually begin to adjust and adapt to this new era of replacing palmwine with any wine of choice, as long as the inherent traditional rites are obeyed. But, some cultures still insist on the usage of the traditional palmwine because, to them, the usage of any other drink apart from what they know is an insult to their long-time beliefs and traditions. They, sometimes, cause chaos in cases where the couple don’t want to agree to their demands and, this leaves both parties utterly confused and distorted. In most cases, the marriage ends there and then. What they fail to realise is that they’re causing more harm than good for the intending couples and, its gradually eating into recent culture adaptations. Some couples, in order to save time and avoid having unnecessary quarrels with the family kindred, they just go ahead and do the bidding of the family elders.
Couples should be allowed to use any drink of their choice for their traditional wedding; as long as the customary traditional rites are being observed. No one has a monopoly of what should be done during weddings and, the couple’s opinions have to be respected since they’re the ones getting married. At this point in their lives, they need all the support they can garner from their families and not unnecessary bickering back and forth. If they’re cool with using the traditional palmwine, good! But, if they aren’t, let them be allowed to use their choice drink. The most important thing is that the wedding should happen.