Love is one word that carries a lot of weight and meaning whenever it is used. People do incredibly unimaginable things for love, many of which are awesome, while some people just choose to do weirdly insane things, all in the name of LOVE. This is a strong mutual feeling that has for many preceding ages attracted even completely incompatible men and women together.
Love is believed to originate from the heart but for some groups of people, love must originate from the muscles. Your Tour and Safari to northeastern Uganda will take you to a group of people called the Karamojong/Karimojong who believe that the origin of love ought to be in a man’s ability to fight for and defend the love of his life.
From the phrase “ekar ngimojong”, meaning “the old men can walk no more”, the Karimojongs get their name and have their home in Karamoja, a land which can be driven through during a Uganda Safari and Tour to the isolated Kidepo Valley National Park. Dating in Karamoja is a very interesting story.
In order for a man to take a girl as his bride, he will obviously have to pay bride price for her as in most African societies. But a prerequisite of the wedding ceremony in Karamoja is an astonishing sweat-draining wrestle between the aspiring husband and the girl that caught his eye. The wrestle is used to experiment whether the man (the ideal head of the family in Karamoja) will be able to defend and protect his wife, should he be given the opportunity to marry her.
As was done in the past, today “the wrestlers” still tussle from side to side grabbing the opponent’s legs and waist in a bid to throw him/her to the dusty thirsty ground of Karomaja. It does not matter how long this battle takes, but what matters is who comes out victorious.
It is so unfortunate for the man to lose this fight, because he will not only lose the girl, but he will be regarded as a weakling in the community. He is not even fit to bear the title of a man and cannot marry any other girl from the Karamoja region. The only remedy for his misery is to embark on a safari to another region where he can find a wife minus facing the test of strength. Men from other communities are allowed to marry within the Karamojong families on condition that they also win this wrestle.
Love is perhaps the most widely spoken language in the world today. The Baganda in Uganda say “Nkwagala”, the French say “Je t’aime”, the English say “I love you”, the Chinese say “我愛你”, and the Germans “Sayich liebe dich“, all meaning the same thing. Perhaps this Karamoja Safari in Uganda inspires us to stand bold for the love that we claim to have for others, and to be be able to fight to protect the people we treasure.
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