Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wedding in Nazareth

This past weekend I had the chance to go to a family wedding in Nazareth with my host family. My host dad´s cousin´s youngest son was getting married. I was really excited to go and check it out especially since I´ve had the chance to go to weddings in Egypt and Spain. For an Arab wedding it was on the small side, but this family doesn´t like to have huge parties and it was still a lot of people compared to weddings I´ve seen in the States. The bride was actually from Romania and not Muslim; she is Christian and the groom is Muslim. I think it is really cool to see mixed faith marriages especially here in Israel. Nazareth used to be a predominately Christian city and people here are more open to mixed marriages.

I had actually spent several nights the week before at the groom´s parent´s house. There was food, drinks, dancing and wedding preparations. It is a pretty big to do list for a wedding here. One thing that I thought was really neat was the fact that they hand deliver most of the wedding invitations. That is something very personal and you don´t see that in the States. I kind of like the idea of doing that to show the guests how much they mean to you and that you really want them to attend. The wedding itself was actually two different nights. On Friday night there was food and a lot of dancing as well as some traditional ceremonies.

They did the shaving of the groom to prepare him for the bride; it was a group affair and very chaotic. They also did a henna ceremony where the bride and groom got each other´s first name initials on the others hand. Of course, they had the dancing and mini-procession to officially start the night and welcome the bride and groom to the party. It was very lively and a lot of fun

The rest of the night alternated between eating and dancing. There was so much food and it was all delicious. They party didn´t end until 3 in the morning and even then most of the guests could have stayed and partied until sunrise. I had so much fun with my host family. I even got mini dance lessons. I wasn´t even the worst dancer there, the bride and groom were pretty bad too haha!

On Saturday, the festivities started with a mini ceremony that involved presenting the bride with nice jewelry (the groom´s family gets the bride some really nice jewelry) and pinning money on the groom. There was of course music and dancing and plenty of sweets. This started at the groom´s uncle´s house and then we had a lively, dancing procession of guests and family members that escorted the couple to the groom´s home (since the bride is Romanian and the couple will be living in another city, they went to the groom´s parent´s place). Then we ate some more and watched the traditional dabke dancing which is so neat. They had a lot of that on Friday night as well. Most of the night, the couple greeted guests. We ate a traditional wedding dish of lamb and rice. It was so delicious. My entire host family was there, all 6 children and the parents.

I had a blast this weekend and would love to go to another wedding soon!