354 couples wed at once in Bolivia

Bolivia's President Evo Morales. UPI /Monika Graff
Bolivia's President Evo Morales. UPI /Monika Graff | License Photo

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LA PAZ, Bolivia, May 8 (UPI) -- A total of 354 couples got married at once at a coliseum in La Paz, Bolivia, with President Evo Morales playing the role of best man, officials said.

Saturday's mass marriage event, called "Marriage From Our Collective Identity" and organized by the Ministry of Decolonization, was conducted according to the Andean region's aymara native traditions, El Diario reported.


After the wedding, people took to the streets with bows and flowers.

Decolonization Minister Felix Cardenas, alluding to the Catholic Church that has been the predominant religion in Bolivia since the Spanish arrived in the 16th century, said the wedding event is part of a cultural shift in the country.

"The Spanish have brought ... customs which for years have been rooted in our country but now we reassess our customs, our traditions," he said. "It is time to create independence so we are instituting a multinational country."

The Rev. Carmelo Galdozo of the San Francisco Cathedral in La Paz said the aymara wedding is not a cause for alarm in the Catholic Church.

"Bolivia is a country that recognizes freedom of worship," he said.


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