Leap Year 2016
Leap Year means many more things than just an extra day. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, it’s one extra summer day. It’s also one day more till pay day in March, and if you were born on February 29, it’s time for the birthday party you’ve been waiting for, for the last four years. In popular culture, Leap Day also means that women in heterosexual relationships can propose marriage to their partners. Forget everything you know about being able to do what you want, this is the only day when you, can ask for your man’s hand, culture would have you believe.
We all have Saint Brigid to thank. Irish legend has it that she made a deal with St Patrick that women be allowed to propose to men every four years.
Though Leap Day has come and gone and we are still waiting to see which video proposal goes viral, here is what Afropolitans think of this Leap Year tradition.
Does it matter who does the asking?
Just for fun, some weeks ago, we asked you, the women Afropolitans on our Facebook Page (join us there) if you would, in light of Leap Year traditions, propose to your significant other? Here are some of the answers:
“Unfortunately not. Being a black woman means that lobola is a process my partner and I need to follow, so does that mean I pay lobola for him as well. Too bad tradition doesn’t change because of a leap year.”
“I will never propose marriage, no matter how much I love him.”
“Never, shame, I value my cultural morality too much.”
“A big yes.”
“Yebo yes! Why not? somebody has got to step up. You will wait forever.”
“Major nope nope.”
“Nope, never. He must man up and ask for MY hand in marriage.”
Read more feedback from Afropolitans on our Facebook page here.
So, does popular convention have a place in African cultural practices? Would a woman proposing marriage to her guy change the traditions from an amalobolo/makgadi perspective? Do couples actually discuss their plans to marry or is it always a surprise in front of an audience in airports and restaurants – like the movies show us?
Tell us in the comments what you think of Leap Year and the points raised by Afropolitans in the initial Facebook post. Also let us know, would you propose?