Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Experiencing a wedding...

Attending the village wedding on Saturday night was like jumping headfirst into a cultural lagoon. Traditions are abundant during this all-night festivity. What a great opportunity for us to observe and participate!

When we and our friends arrived (all pictured above were squished in our big red car!) they served us a lovely chicken tagine and then followed it with a beef tagine. They killed the fattened calf for this one. My friend said that they probably served 50 chickens to all their guests during the day.

The women proceeded up on the roof, into this tent. It was packed with maybe 150 women, probably all of the families of the entire village represented. Wow! We sat and waited for the bride to come. (I was informed that she was in town getting her hair done.)

And here she is! She arrived around 10 pm and walked in and sat on a silver throne waiting for her groom. There was a small dance rug in the middle where my cute friends let their hair down (literally) and had a ball. This is a fun night for women.

After the groom came and the pictures were taken, they left to change their clothes. She had 3 different outfits that she modelled during the night. While she was gone changing, the "tent occupants" watched a relative open the presents and announce to the crowd, for example, "Ruth, the aunt of the bride, gave 200 dirhams ($25). May God repay her." You want to hide under your seat if you give something lame or cheap!

This is the procession of the groom into the house, surrounded by male friends. The men sat downstairs the whole time while the women were upstairs. Patrick met the groom for the first time and offered his congratulations. The groom seemed pleased and told Patrick that he was thankful that his wife will provide domestic help. The bride and groom will live with the groom's family in a village about 15 minutes away.

Here we are! Usually the place for kids at a wedding is outside getting in trouble, so we left our other kids at home. H enjoyed herself and even said the next day, "I liked that queen." The bride was indeed a queen for a day, but is probably now on to other things like washing clothes and cooking chicken.

What an interesting look into culture...