2012 m. liepos 26 d., ketvirtadienis

If you would decide to marry a Turkish guy

Last week I had a unique opportunity to be a guest in the Turkish weddings. To cut story short, it is full of dancing, gold and symbols of virginity, so if you’d like to know more or to prepare for your own weddings (haha) – take a look.

Nowadays Turkish marriages still retained many of their traditional roots, but they also may differ greatly based on several factors. The region has immense importance as well as the intensity of belief in the religion and of course how it the Turkish husband subscribes – in a modern or traditional way. Yes, the role of the man is still more important. Well, as I heard now it’s more common to have marriages with foreigners, but saving Turkish traditions.

This joyous event depends on what kind of weddings is it – or Salon. If you are invited to attend the weddings in an urban area it may be one of the more modern type of Salon wedding which is very similar to “Western” weddings, where a hall is rented for the wedding reception. I went to this kind of weddings. What really surprised me was that the hall was set in the supermarket. So called Village weddings could be held just in a street.

If you have heard that the Turkish weddings last 40 days and nights, you‘re wrong. Mostly it is held for 2 days, sometimes three. The most popular season is summer.

One day before the weddings the Henna ritual is organized for the bride. At home all women prepare the celebration for the bride and colours her hands with henna. Traditionally it is a part of the fertility ritual that takes place on the eve of the wedding, either in the mikveh or at the bride’s home.

The next day is the day of Gelin Alma (to fetch the bride), kız alma (to fetch girl) or gelin götürme (to carry the bride). Everybody is invited to this ceremonial procession from the home of the bride to the home of the groom. Guests go to fetch the bride on foot if not far, or by cars if it is too far to go.

In some regions the bridegroom is not allowed to accompany the bridal procession. The procession is followed by drums and pipes. In some regions the bride is prepared by elderly women (yenge) who help and assist her. But in general today the preparations for the bride are done at a beauty salon.

Then she joins the procession on her way to the groom’s home. Before leaving her home, a Maidenhood Belt (Bekaret kuÅ¿aÄ¿ı), mostly a red ribbon, is tied around the Bride’s waist by her brother or a close relative and then the bride says good-by to those who stay at home. To lighten things up, the doorway is sometimes blocked by a male relative of the bride or a younger brother who sits on the wooden chest that carries the bride’s dowry, as if to stop the bride from leaving. A tip by the groom’s family resolves this final hurdle, and the bride leaves her parent’s home.

After signing documents the real celebration begins...

Firstly, it’s normal not to know bride or groom personally. You can be invited because your close friend or relative is coming.

If you are close with that person you should prepare a gift. People, standing in a line give money or gold (coins bracelets and etc.) and there are no listed gifts. You can find such presents in a Turkish jewellery store. There is a wide selection of coins with little loops on top. Most of them already have a red ribbon with a little safety pin on the back for pinning on the bride.

If you don’t know the groom or the bride, you just have to show the respect by wishing them luck and have a good time in a wedding.

Talking about clothing, it’s not so different. If you are invited to Salon type of wedding, you would dress in a similar manner as if you were going to a Western wedding. Of course if it is somewhere in the suburbs clothing should be more comfortable, but still stylish.

In Ottoman culture young girls were forbidden to wear fashionable clothes (for example, ornamented dresses). These days Turkish men and Turkish women have adopted Western styles of dress during the wedding ceremony. For the men, this includes tuxedoes and suits, while women wear white bridal dresses.

It‘s really strange that in Turkish weddings there are no Maids of Honour, Best Men or Matrons of Honour. The most important people despite the couple are their parents.

It becomes obvious during dances. Parents with husband and wife have to dance in a circle. Also, there is a dance only for fathers.

Moreover, guests are invited to the dancefloor too.

The cleverest tradition is Testik dance – single (of course virgin) girls dance. Well, it’s good for single men to observe for potential date. Also, Kına Gecesi held on Henna Night, Oyun Havası, Göbek atmak, there are more dances with clicking spoons and etc.

In Lithuania during the wedding party a lot of people get drunk and overeat – absolute excess in eating and drinking which I hate the most. Here, people don‘t drink alcohol, only lemonade, tea or water. What about food? They serve cookies; of course wedding cake is also very important. Firstly, the new born husband and wife try it and when the guests have a bite too.

As everywhere the bride receives a lot of attention. As you may have noticed from the photos (which you can buy during weddings for 3 TL (1.5 EUR), a bride is wearing the red ribbon which shows that she is virgin. The red colour is chosen because it reveals wealth and power.

Women and men have different responsibilities. Brides have to look after bedroom, prepare it for living, grooms look after gold and money.

Furthermore, there are some present for all quests on which there is exact date and married couple names. It represents different believes and traditions, something like a good will.
It's really nice to see people who know how to enjoy themselves. Sorry, but this time there aren't a lot photos, I couldn't make it because we were asked not treat it like a tourist experience.

Congratulations. Wishing the both of you all the happiness in the world!

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