Archive for May 24th, 2012

24th May
written by Arthur

Despite a late night, I was out of bed by 8 a.m.; not so much by choice as from the firm grip of timezone differences.  My body thought is was already 11 and time to find adventures.  And I did find a few, but this post is for the wedding and it was time to shed Indian attire for a suit.  The day was filed with ceremony.

The Ghor

This ceremony was described to me as the blessing of the groom.  In the presidential suite of the the hotel, the Fayaz’s friends and family gather to lift any curses and impart good luck.  (Word was that the bride had a congruent, but separate, ceremony.)

Chi tea was available in the room:  a strong brew in a pot with condensed milk on the side.

The ceremony appeared to closely resemble that undertaken before the mess-up the groom.  A tray held a cup of M&Ms and cups of quarters.  However, this ceremony involved all feeding Fayaz and M&M and circulating the money over his head.  By the time Nick and I were up, Fayaz had eaten his fill of sweets and passed the M&Ms off on us.

After all had imparted their blessings, we had an hour or so before it was time to head to the mosque for the actual wedding ceremony.

The Mosque

Once we arrived at the mosque, the men and women separated and removed their shoes before entering their respective rooms in the place of worship.   Inside the moque, there were no seats and all took their places, siting on a softly carpeted floor.  Fayaz and his best man were seated against the wall on pillows near the front.  The Imam sat at the pulpit, a large elevated chair which looked well suited for long speeches.

After words from the Imam on equality, particularly of that between men and women, the floor was ceded in for various words on marriage and the couple.  The men listen in person, while the women watched from their room over video.  The Imam again took the podium and explained variations in wedding ceremony across Islamic traditions.  He then explained that Nushin would come over the speaker system and ask to Fayaz marry her and that Fayaz would then (hopefully!) accept.

The microphone was handed to Fayaz and Nushins voice filled the room and asked the big question in Arabic.  To which Fayaz responded.  The exchange lasted  no more that 30 seconds.   When it was over a man ran into the room to get Fayaz’s signature on the wedding certificate.

As we exited, I saw many large tables covered with food and learned that the separation of  the men and women was to continue to through dinner.  I filled my plate with naan, chick pea curry, beef curry, chicken tikka, roasted veggies, rice, and various Indian deserts.  I happily worked my way through the heaping plate over conversation at an outdoor table with Fayaz’s male friends and family.

The Cake Cutting

This portion of the was a hybrid of Western and Indian ceremonies.  Speeches from family interspersed Indian traditions and the exchanging of rings.  The  event culminated with the cutting of the cake and turning the room full guests lose on a table full of coffee, tea, sweets, and sandwiches.  (It had been almost three hours since dinner!)  Strangely, though all events were, in the Muslim tradition, sans alcohol, ham and cheese sandwiches were in the mix.

After eating the table’s sweets and after wedding cake was passed around, guests were invited to take photos with the beautiful new couple.

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