‘Young women were refusing to get married unless a fortune was spent on wedding gold and household furnishings,’ says community leader

Extravagant weddings have reportedly been banned in a Somali town, in order to encourage young people to stay in their community.

Despite the country’s widespread poverty, Somali weddings are often lavish events, with the family of the groom often spending thousands of dollars on the bride, venue and clothing and jewellery.

Festivities can go on for up to a week.

But the south western town of Beled Hawa has now banned wedding receptions from taking place in hotels and introduced a limit of three goats to be slaughtered for the festivities.

“Islamic teachings indicated that getting married should be cheap,” town commissioner Mohamud Hayd Osman told the BBC.

The town’s authorities are worried that prohibitively high costs of getting married will discourage people from staying and lead to increased migration.

Mr Osman added: “Young women were refusing to get married unless a fortune was spent on wedding gold and household furnishings.

The price of a bride (Meher) was set at $150 (£120)

by Will Worley @willrworley

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