During my first week of work, I had expressed my curiosity of Bangladeshi weddings to my intern supervisor. She told me about how she had taken 10 days off of work for her five-ceremony wedding (the ceremonies are held every other day). When I told my host mom about this, she retorted, "Only five days?! That's a short one." During the field visit in Manikanj, I had a little sneak preview of a Bangladeshi wedding, which only further excited me.
Then last night, in the midst of a fancy meal at Spaghetti Jazz, The Lonely Planet's #1 restaurant recommendation in Gulshan, I received a text message from my work partner, asking if I would like to attend a wedding event with her. Obviously there was no real question here, and my friends and I gulped our dinners down as quickly as possible. The ladies raced home and suited up in our nicest kameezes, and our male counterpart dressed in his best panjabi (which he had to borrow from my work partner's father).
|Ornately decorated stage. |
Look at all the flowers!
|feeding the groom rice pudding|
Next came my favorite part of the night: dancing. The men were the first on the dance floor. It was especially interesting to see a relatively modest crowd of women. I always feel I must beg most of my male friends to dance with me and my female friends willingly join. It was so fun to see everyone so happy and spirited. Many movies that westerners see about marriages in South Asia tend to have negative portrayals of the forceful, pressure-filled marriages. These certainly exist, but during this event, all these feelings of animosity were forgotten as families and friends came together, ate, talked, and danced.
This was probably one of the more fun nights of being in Bangladesh. It was a chance to experience one of the happiest aspects of any culture. In their state of merriment, the family graciously invited us to attend the wedding reception tomorrow, and I cannot wait!
|The bride's family circling the groom. Check out their beautiful, handmade earrings. Those are real flowers! Some of them also have chains of orange flowers in their hair. They looked so beautiful.|
|A very happy groom.|