Veteran Nollywood actor, Pete Edochie said Nigerian men kneeling down to propose to their women are not just fools, but ‘compound buffoons’. According to Pete, he emphasized that we as Africans always like to copy a culture prevalent in the Western World. in virtually everything, they do without knowing its significance.
He went further to say that when a man knees to propose, the woman takes over the family, which is why whenever a white man disagrees with his wife, he is kicked out of the house and the woman takes over. so he says as a young man who is supposed to be in charge of his destiny he needs not to propose to his woman kneeling down.
History Behind Proposing on a Bended Knee
There is no clear historical origin of the idea of proposing on a bent knee, but the gesture bears striking resemblance to many other ceremonial situations, including:
- Religion: Kneeling is appropriate during prayers and other religious ceremonies, including wedding vows for some faiths. Kneeling is also done to genuflect when entering a church or temple. When proposing, kneeling can have the same spiritual connotation and can be seen as a sign of respect.
- Royalty: Knights kneel while being awarded honors from kings and queens. This can hold true for a proposal of marriage and can be seen as an honor.
- Surrender: Bowing in supplication before a victorious enemy is typically seen as a gesture of surrender. When proposing, a couple commits to one another and surrenders oneself to being part of a couple.
Regardless of the origin, the idea of asking for a loved one’s hand in marriage while partially kneeling is a highly symbolic gesture embodying the very essence of committing one’s life to another. The ideas of goodwill, honor, and trust in that one person is opening themselves completely to another without shame or any physical defenses.
The practical reason behind a bent knee proposal is that it puts the engagement ring in an elevated position between the couple, letting the light hit it clearly without being blocked by both individuals. This highlights the glitter of the ring as well as emphasizing the strength of the commitment.
Deciding If It’s Right for You
For some couples, the idea of a traditional marriage proposal on bended knee is predictable and undesirable. In that case, more creative options are available, and even if the classic pose of honor and respect is lacking, a thoughtful and romantic proposal will convey those same feelings while keeping both feet flat on the ground and both knees straight.
Convey Your Commitment
Whether you choose to propose on bended knee or in a more creative, unique fashion, the key is that the traditional symbolism and connotations remain the same. Any proposal should convey respect, honor, and commitment to one another. When planning a proposal, make sure that it is something you feel comfortable with and your soon-to-be-bride will as well.