Algerian Girls Have Their Weddings Before the Age of Two

A Girl is a Livelihood

Houria Hashemi Rashedi is a professional hairdresser who organises celebrations for the families of Annaba. Relying on her knowledge of customs in the city, she informs families of what is permitted or forbidden during the celebration. The first bath is the right of the girl over her family if they are well off.

Customs and rituals

The girl’s mother supervises her bathing. The female invitees also bathe amid ululations, and they open the girl’s trousseau, which includes a towel, sabots and bathing items. The mother also distributes symbolic traditional gifts to the invited young girls.

Celebrating the Female

Houria Hashemi Rashidi points out that this custom is like the ‘aqeeqah’ for the male, in which an animal is sacrificed and food is distributed to female relatives and neighbours as a gift and charity. This is a celebration of girls and a belief that they are a livelihood.

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