Episode 10 of the I Am Multicultural Podcast is the story of my brother-in-law Ken and his outsider perspective as an American traveling to Kampala, Uganda to get officially engaged to his fiancé (my sister) as part of the traditional Ugandan engagement ceremony, the kwanjula.

 

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We talk about:

  • Flying 8,000 miles from California to Uganda to get officially engaged to your Ugandan fiancé as part of the traditional Ugandan engagement ceremony called a kwanjula
  • Ken’s outsider perspective on African culture as a black American traveling for the first time to Uganda  for a Ugandan-American kwanjula
  • How Ugandan tradition kwanjula looks like
  • What rituals and procedures did Ken have to go through on a Ugandan-American kwanjula to show that he can take good care of his fiancé
  • Questioning and understanding the meaning behind each Ugandan tradition versus one’s own upbringing
  • What was Ken’s experience with the naming conventions ritual during a Ugandan-American kwanjula
  • Exposing kids to Ugandan culture, traditions, and language

Ken shares:

  • 32:11 – For me as a parent, it’s a huge thing to have the kids exposed to the world and others, to show them that people live different ways all around the world.
  • 33:35 – Anytime you’re getting married or getting into multicultural relationship find the opportunities to see the culture, to keep an open mind and an open ear to what their background is and what you can learn. You’ll find some places that you’ll just be baffled. In other places you will be like: Oh, this totally makes sense. If you’re baffled, ask some questions.
  • 36:28 – So many things mean family. Firstly, you can always find a home no matter what’s going on. These are people who always show up no matter what’s going on or what you’ve done and what they’ve done. You’re always there for each other.

Ken’s Favorites:

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