One Wedding= 2 weeks of celebrations!

Trip Start Oct 13, 2005
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Trip End Jul 28, 2006


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Flag of Bangladesh  ,
Monday, June 19, 2006

Weddings are a wonderful time, especially in Bangladesh. You go shopping day after day trying to find the right sari or the right jewelry to match the Sari. Then there are the shoes, the make-up and purse. My family and I went on many shopping sprees to find the "right" thing. I ended up with some bizarre things I probably would never buy in Canada but bright is right for Bangladesh!

Before the wedding ceremony is the Hollude Party (literally means Yellow Party). The women dress up in beautiful saris of yellow, orange and red. It is amazing to see a room full of saris that are giving off a warm shimmering glow of bright golden colors. During the festive evening, the bride and groom do not get to see each other. They stay in their separate houses. The family and friends of the bride goes to the groom's house and vise versa. We (I was apart of the brides family) are greeted by the groom's family and are showered with bright orange marigold flowers. The Bride's family gives the groom's family gifts and then the fun begins. They set up a mini stage for the groom and then the hollude starts.

The groom sits on the mini stage and then each person goes up to him and we get to smear turmeric (a yellow paste) on his face and arms. Hence the name Hollude (yellow). The yellow paste gives off a wonderful golden hue on the face of a Bangladeshi. And as I said before putting it on a white person is not a good idea unless you want to look sickly at a wedding! After the yellow paste is the feeding the groom. Odd. You take a toothpick and you can either poke a grape or misty (which means sweet, it is basically milk and sugar boiled until solid) and then put it into the mouth of a grown man! Weird! I was so nervous when it was my turn, I have never done these odd rituals before. To everyone else it was normal but to me I was confused (like usual). Anyways after that we ate food and then we went back to where the bride was.

About an hour later the family and friends of the groom came to the bride's house. So then the same thing happened to the bride. She got all yellow and ate lots of grapes and misty.

I have been to 3 weddings (2 weddings were Garo- a minority tribal group and 1 Hindu wedding) and they were all completely different than Western Weddings. But this wedding was very Western! It was a Bangladesh Christian wedding and I actually knew what was going on! They had the wedding in a church, they had a procession including a ring bearer, candle lighters and flower girls, the bride walked down an isle and they even exchanged rings. The only thing they didn't do was kiss. That would be SCANDALOUS to kiss in front of people! After the wedding there was the wedding reception where tons of rice was cooked and eaten! Then we were shesh (finished).

It was a lot of fun but also tiring. I know only need to go to a Muslim wedding and then I will have all the different weddings checked off. It's odd though that I haven't been to a Muslim wedding, because most of the population is Muslim. Oh well.
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