Saturday, October 8, 2011

Turkish Wedding - Part 1

The Henna Party

My friend Sema invited me to her relative's wedding this evening. Apparently it doesn't matter if I'm related or know the person getting married to attend a wedding. So in pouring rain, we walked across town to the apartment of the bride. The 4th floor flat was packed with women greeting the bride who was perched on a chair in a sitting room waiting for well-wishes from family and friends and me..a total stranger. The bride was more than willing to pose for pictures so I quickly tried to snap a few but the family insisted that I be in the pictures, so here I am.

Soon, everyone stood, walked downstairs, and started dancing in the street to Turkish music provided by a local DJ. There was some clapping after the mother of the groom placed four gold bracelets on the bride's wrist and then some more dancing. I never noticed the bride leaving the parking lot, but apparently she did, because pretty soon all the children held lit sparklers and candles and formed a little path for both the bride and groom to walk. Each was wearing a red cloth over their head, and the bride was wearing a new outfit similar to Jasmine in Walt Disney's Aladdin. Everyone formed a circle around the wedding couple and danced for several minutes until the rain started falling again.

The bride party disappeared down a dark alley, but the rest of us hopped on a Dolmus (a small bus) and drove through some different back alleys of Malatya until we arrived at a different street dance with live music. Things definitely got more lively here at the house of the groom with some very entertaining drummers and a few Turkish women and men who really got into dancing. I should mention that the wedding couple took the first dance and looked about a uncomfortable as most middle school students at their first slow dance, straight, locked arms, plenty of space between the bodies, fear of looking each other in the eyes, and no smiles. In addition, Turkish men were lighting off fireworks more powerful than anything sold in Wyoming at distance of about two feet from the dance area. I noticed this because I was thinking that one spark landing on the bride's dress would burn to a crisp. And, one girl did come crying too her mom to say she had gotten a spark in her eye.

I am understanding things correctly, the frown on the bride's face could be caused by fact that the father of the bride who left Malatya 14 years ago and took a second wife and had two children with her in Lithuania, showed up in Malatya last night just in time for the wedding. That could be cause for some tension...

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