The African Wedding Experience

By 2023-2024 ASA E-board Leadership team led by Tumi and Aramide

Location: Tripp Commons, Memorial Union

Date & Time: May 2nd, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

What is the core mission of the African Students Association (ASA), and how do you work towards achieving it?

The core mission of the African Students Association (ASA) is to enhance cultural and social awareness among African students and to foster understanding and collaboration across the entire university community. ASA aims to create a vibrant and welcoming environment that facilitates dialogue, deepens mutual understanding, and showcases the diverse cultural richness of Africa. To achieve these objectives, ASA organizes a variety of activities including cultural events, workshops, and community service programs, all designed to celebrate African cultures and encourage interaction among them.

What inspired ASA to host the African Wedding Experience, and what do you aim to achieve with this event?

The African Wedding Experience was inspired by a desire to share the diverse wedding practices of Africa with the broader university community. The aim of this event is to celebrate the cultural significance of marriage ceremonies across various African cultures, allowing students and guests to experience these traditions firsthand. Our goals are to enhance cultural awareness, foster learning about African customs, and provide the community with an engaging and enjoyable gathering.

Can you elaborate on some of the cultural elements that will be featured at the African Wedding Experience?

The African Wedding Experience will immerse attendees in various cultural elements showcasing wedding practices from different parts of Africa. This includes traditional wedding attire, music, dance, and ceremonies unique to specific countries. Additionally, attendees will enjoy authentic African food typical of wedding feasts. The event will also feature live performances and workshops that animate these customs, providing a comprehensive cultural experience.

How are the different student associations, like the North African and Somali Student Associations, working together to organize this event?

The planning of the African Wedding Experience involved extensive collaboration among various student groups, including the North African and Somali Student Associations. These associations worked collectively to ensure a broad representation of African cultures at the event. Their teamwork encompassed planning, sourcing authentic materials, orchestrating performances, and promoting the event to attract a wide audience. This collaborative effort highlights the unity and dedication within the African student community.

What should attendees expect from their experience at the African Wedding Experience? 

Attendees of the African Wedding Experience can expect a deep dive into African wedding customs and traditions. They should be prepared to engage with new experiences such as trying new foods, participating in dances, and ceremonial practices. This event offers a unique opportunity to learn about, celebrate, and honor the rich diversity of African cultures in a festive and inclusive environment.

What are the biggest logistical challenges in planning an event like this, and how are you addressing them?

The major logistical challenges in planning an event like the African Wedding Experience include coordinating the diverse cultural elements, ensuring proper venue setup, and managing the smooth execution of events. We addressed these challenges by starting the planning process early, collaborating with knowledgeable community members, and maintaining clear communication among all teams involved. These comprehensive planning efforts are crucial for ensuring that the event runs smoothly and provides a memorable experience for all attendees.

What impact do you hope this event will have on participants and on the broader university community?

We aim for the African Wedding Experience to leave a lasting impact on participants by deepening their understanding of African cultures and the significance of marriage within these cultures. Our goal is to foster cultural acceptance and respect throughout the entire university community. By bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds, this event promotes the building of relationships founded on mutual respect and collaboration, which we hope will continue well beyond the event itself.

After the African Wedding Experience, are there any other events or projects that ASA is planning?

Following the African Wedding Experience, ASA plans to continue its mission by hosting a series of educational and cultural events. These include cultural showcases, speaker series addressing topics relevant to Africa and its diaspora, and collaborative events organized by various cultural groups. Our aim is to maintain the momentum we’ve built in promoting cultural understanding and strengthening community bonds throughout the academic year.

Link to the Wedding Experience Proposal