Marriage Practices: A Comparative Analysis between the Chinese and the Yorùbá Ethnic Group.

Banwo, A.O. (2018-06-17)

The word “wed” is derived from the ancient Greek word for “people” and that is exactly what a wedding is, no matter what country it takes place in, no matter what culture it is part of. To wed is to pledge your-self to another and establish a new life as one (Dent 2004). A renowned scholar defined marriage as “a more or less durable connection between the male and female lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after birth of the offspring” (Westermarck 1921). In his book The Future of Marriage in Western Civilization, he rejected his earlier definition, instead provisionally defining marriage as “a relation of one or more men to one or more women that is recognized by custom or law” (Westermarck 1936). Therefore, we can argue that throughout the world, marriage is regarded as a moment of celebration and a milestone in adult life. It is based on the premises of child birth and forging relations that the perception of marriage would be examined among the Chinese and Yorùbá race.


Marriage is an institution that has evolved over the years to signify different things; while the traditional notion of marriage is starting a family additional habitual conception of marriage is to extend the family ties. Marriages across the globe differ based on their values, traditions, beliefs and their expectations. One certain phenomenon is that marriages involve a set of rituals and it differs globally. This work adopts relevant secondary literatures that have delved into the conceptions of marriage practices across these two distant cultures. It draws out the unique differences and the similarities that exist and acts as a reference work for future research. This work sets out to identify key concepts and marriage practices between the Chinese and the Yorùbá race of Nigeria. It recognizes that there are fundamental reasons why people get married with inherent actors that are involved in the tying of the knot.