Biniyam, 29, proposed to Ariela, 28, on Timkat, which is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ. Even though Ariela is Jewish, Biniyam devoutly follows the major Ethiopian religion. She previously agreed to allow Biniyam to baptize their son, Aviel, in the Christian faith and it marked Avi’s first time celebrating a religious holiday at 1 month old.
“Today is a special day. I plan on proposing to Ari. I would love to be with her for the rest of my life,” he said in his confessional.
Once they arrived at a local festival, the New Jersey native expressed concern over walking into the crowd while Bini had Aviel in a carrier on his chest. She was also worried that the music and singing would be too loud for her 1-month-old’s ears. Bini insisted that they go deeper in the crowd so that they could get sprayed with holy water from a hose, and Ariela got upset because other attendees were pushing up against each other. “It’s enough!” she yelled, worried their baby would get hit or crushed.
In his confessional, Bini explained he thinks the reason Ariela got so upset at the thought of being sprayed with holy water is because she has an “evil spirit” that is afraid of getting “cast out.” The couple fought and Ari told Bini not to yell at her or put his finger in her face. Bini called Ari an “annoying person” and “selfish.”
After they got into a fight in public, they agreed it would be best for them to leave. The couple went to Bini’s brother’s house nearby so she could breast-feed Avi. He then left her there while he returned to the celebration.
Ari admitted she has “a tendency to freak out,” and said she could have expressed her concerns in a more calm manner. After her son was fed, she left him with his aunt Mimi so she could find Bini to try to “turn” their day around after fighting.
Once she finds Bini in the crowd, she walked up to him and hugged him. “I love you,” she said. Bini took Ari by the hand and they explored the festival together with his family. After they met up with the rest of his family in the crowd, Bini told Ari to turn around because his sister wanted to tell her something. While Ari’s back was turned, Bini got down on one knee with a diamond engagement ring inside of a lime, which follows a Timkat tradition. During the holiday, women perform a dance and men throw lemons or limes to the woman that they like. If the woman likes a man in return, she will catch or pick up his lemon.
“Will you marry me?” he asked after Ariela turned back around. “Oh my god. Yes, I’ll marry you!” she yelled over the loud music.
“This is a big surprise, I mean, after the day we just had!” she gushed in her confessional. “This is so crazy. This is the coolest proposal of all time and even with the fact that we were fighting all day and then I would say yes just goes to show our relationship is a little bit like that, you know? Even if we fight, we still love each other at the end of the day.”
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