Zimbabweans now opting for cash gifts only at wedding parties

10:58, July 02, 2011      

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Newly-wed Zimbabweans are now opting for cash in lieu of other gifts to cushion themselves from the harsh economic environment as they begin their married lives.

While celebrating weddings, Zimbabweans present various gifts including cash, honeymoon holidays, cattle and household goods, with the parents of the groom and bride even going as far as giving houses and cars, depending on wealth.

However, new couples are now asking friends and relatives to confine their gifts to cash so that they can use the money to settle debts accrued during wedding preparations and to help them start their new lives on a sound financial footing.

Apart from including a clause barring guests from bringing children to the wedding reception so that the couples can plan on seating and catering, the couples have added a new dimension where they ask the guests not to buy gifts and give them the money instead.

The practice was started by couples in the diaspora, who in most cases do not have homes in the country and have no need for the usual kitchen utensils and dining room and lounge suites that many relatives and friends had become used to providing.

The mother of the bride, who was required to provide a new stove for her daughter so that she could cook for her husband no longer as a choice but to give the new couple money, and the same goes for the father of the groom who used to provide a home and cattle for draught power.

A man who tied the knot six years ago said he and his wife had not used some of the gifts such as plates, cups and pots they received as gifts at their wedding.

"We don't know what to do with all those things. Sometimes we give some of them away, but we feel it is not right. So we are stuck with things we don't really need. I suppose we will have to keep them and maybe give them to our kids on their wedding day or when they start their own homes," he said.

One journalist said some couples have their marriages blessed after several years together and do not necessarily need household goods as gifts.

Rich parents flaunting their wealth still give houses and cars to the new families, however, and still make sure that the huge gifts are accompanied by cash, saying that whenever the new family should have its own home and means of transport whenever it visits Zimbabwe.

Source: Xinhua

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