Hard times lead 21 couples to share wedding
HARGEISA, Somalia (Reuters) - Twenty-one couples have shared a joint wedding in Somalia, where the traditional lavish celebrations are increasingly unaffordable at a time of economic slump.
The function was held on Tuesday at a hotel in Hargeisa, capital of Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland, and was arranged by Telsom, a telecoms company that employs all the bridegrooms.
The Horn of Africa region is staunchly Muslim, so the men and women celebrated separately.
The expense of a traditional wedding, especially when economic times are hard, is driving some young Somalis to leave their homeland.
"One of the reasons why the youth migrate is weddings are expensive, and I appeal to the community to simplify marriage by reducing the cost," Sheikh Mohamed Sheikh Omar Dirir, one of the area's most prominent religious leaders, told guests.
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