Friday, October 15, 2004

All in the family...

I'm so excited, because now that I'm here, I have the chance to see an entire Bangladeshi wedding, from start to finish. Masud's cousin Dalia is marrying another one of Masud's cousins, Jahir. (Yes, my American friends, they are first cousins, which is culturally OK here.)

Today was the engagement ceremony at the bride's house. Here is what happened. We got to the house around noon and were served a light snack. As there were a lot of people, we ate in shifts. After eating, the women went with the women, the men with the men, and the kids with the kids. We chatted for a while. Usually at this point, the two families would be getting to know eachother, but since everyone here is related, there was no need.

We were then served lunch. I ate so much that I thought I'd explode, because as soon as my plate was empty, someone was dishing out more. I had polau and veggie curry, and later polau with sweet yogurt. I've never had polau and yogurt at the same time before, but it was actually quite good.

Then we went back and sat with the "bo" (bride). WHen it was time for the ceremony, she got up and gave "salam" to her parents, and asked for their blessing. She cried when she did this, and of course that made me cry too. Then she went to meet her future in-laws. They all sat on the couch together, and her future mother in law, aka her aunt, put a ring on her finger. Then the bride's mother put a ring on the grooms finger. Then we all sat together and prayed for their happiness. That was another touching moment, because everyone in the room was praying together for the happiness of these two young adults. THere were lots of tears and lots of smiles as well.

I took some pictures which I hope will give you somewhat of an idea of the engagement party. I'm really looking forward to the next few parts of the ceremony, which will happen after the month of Ramadan is done.

Speaking of Ramadan, we will find out in a few hours if we will start fasting tomorrow. Thus begins a month of fasting. For those of you who don't know, we don't eat or drink anything, not even water, from sunrise to sunset. I'm sure I'll be able to describe this more in-depth as the month progresses. It might be interesting for those who don't know about this part of the Muslim religion.

Tomorrow I'll try to post more.

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