Die Journalistin Irene Mbakilwa aus Tansania ist für vier Wochen in Deutschland. Sie wundert sich, warum junge Paare in Deutschland nicht heiraten - und warum sie ihre Hochzeit selbst bezahlen müssen.

Irene Mbakilwa ist Stipendiatin des Programms "Journalismus & Religion" des Evangelischen Presseverbands für Bayern e.V. Das Programm bietet Medienschaffenden die Möglichkeit, sich mit dem Thema Religion in anderen Ländern zu beschäftigen.


My First Experience in Munich: At last my dream comes true!

I longed for so long and prayed to God so that one day I visit the country called German. The country which I heard a lot about it. The country which has a historic relationship with Tanzania. Historical in many ways including the religious relationship, political and social economic. These have continued to bond the friendship between the people of Tanzania and the people of German. This phenomena has been proven also by EPV cross media by deciding to invite Tanzanian journalists and share their job experience and equip them with new media technologies.

So here I am.

I feel so lucky to be among the few who selected to join the exchange program. I give my sincere gratitude to the management of EPV and the whole staff to see me as the one who can work with them. Many Thanks to Ms. Christina Geisler who was tirelessly communicated with me and told me what to do enable the trip.

I arrived safely in Munich on 17th April, 2018 around 8am. Ms. Rieke Harmsen is the one who picked me at the airport with a big hug like we have met several days ago. This warm welcoming symbol has proven to me that German people are so courageous and humbled to visitors.

Ms. Rieke Harmsen escorted me to the house of Ms. Elvira where I will be staying for the all days I am in Munich. The other good thing which I never expected is that, Ms. Elvira also visited Tanzania several times and know Swahili language which is the national language in the country. I was so happy to see that charming mama who do a lot to make sure that I live comfortable in German.

It was my pleasure to see Ms. Katharina Hamel who came and picked me at the train station. Actually, I was so nervous to board that train I thought I could get lost on the way. I thank God, I reached the destination point of Donnersberger Brücke and found Ms Katharina Hamel waiting for me there.

We do not have town trains in Tanzania, except in the busiest city of Dar Es salaam which has one way public train to reduce the high traffic jam at the center of the town.

Other trains are long distance, for example from Dar Es Salaam to up country regions like Mbeya, Dodoma, Mwanza. In Tanzania people are normally use commuter buses alias known as "Daladala": these are found almost in every region in the country and they are mostly owned by private people.

The first thing when we reached at the office with Ms. Katharina Hamel was showing me around and introduced to some staffs who met there. Thereafter, I joined Katharina Hamel to the appointment made by the new married couple who did the so called independent wedding. This is a new culture and experience to me. We do not have independent wedding in Tanzania. We have religious wedding which are Christians and Islamic. We also have traditional marriages and the so called Government marriages which preferred by the two mixed religions like a Christian marries an Islam. The traditional marriages is practiced by few ethnic groups like the Maasai who are neither Christians nor Islam.

I discovered that here in German a couple who falls in love can court for several years before getting married.

I think this is good because it give the couple enough time to know each other. But thing are different in Tanzania. It is very rare to see couples are dating for more than five years! Gosh!! The experience shows that the couples which are expected to get married can have a relationship of even six months and decide to live together as a husband and wife. May be this has contributed to a hundred on marriage breakups in Tanzania. People get married before they know each other well and fail to tolerate their human differences. So it’s a good lesson to my fellow Tanzanians. Of course, I and my husband lasted in relationship for just one and a half years before we decide to marry. And I saw it was enough time to live together since we knew each other better.

The other cultural shock I got from this loving couple is the cost of the marriage celebrations incurred by the couples.

This is different from what I used to see in Tanzania. Marriage is regarded as the blessing thing and every one want to participate. So it is a community thing. The expected married couple should inform their parents and the parents have to inform their relatives and friends so that they can contribute the cost and make the big party. So before the distribution of the invitation cards for the wedding, there should be contribution cards first to request for the small amount one can contribute to facilitate the wedding ceremony. This is so normal in Tanzania. Only few people like to make a simple wedding that do not need people’s contributions and must be very rich. That is why more than 400 people can be invited to a wedding ceremony and feel very comfortable since they are sure of getting enough drinks, meals and other fun things they want.

Otherwise Munich city is very nice, with attractive buildings. There are well arranged streets. Most of our cities are not planned in Tanzania which make the towns to look awkward except the new emerged cities like Dodoma which is cited as the capital city of Tanzania. Dar Es salaam which is the old one and the busiest city in the country is overlapped right now and the government try to fix things out. The infrastructures were built when the population was too low and now need some rehabilitation in many things.

So it is a nice experience to be here and learn some important things that I can share with my coworkers in Tanzania.