Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wedding (pt. 2): Taking your new wife home

[note: now with photos! 13/12/10]

Part one can be found here.

To date: the 7 hour party trek to the bride's house ended in celebrations, eating, dancing, singing, and all-night carousing.

The party was in no way over. Once again, we joined the celebrations when they reached our village, the band was heard long before the party arrived. When I say the groom was taking his new bride home I mean it quite literally. The bride was covered in a large blanket and carried all the way to her new village by her new husband. That's a good 7 hours of walking, a large part of which included steep ascents and descents on poorly maintained stone paths.

The groom's village was a place I hadn't visited, so I quite liked the walk. The pace was set to something between meandering and wandering and there were lots of stops along the way. The groom lived down in the valley near the river, and closer to a large town, so when we arrived there was a much larger open space as well as plastic chairs and electric lighting.

By this point I had perfected my mantra of answers I would repeat in every conversation “Australia”, “yes, he's in Australia”, “no children yet” and “2 ½ months” conveniently I'm half way though my trip so this does for both questions “when did you arrive” and “when are you going.” Answering such questions in Nepali provoked the usual response of amazement and wonder, but answering them in Tam left most people utterly bewildered. There were lots of people there that hadn't met me yet, and none of them had ever heard someone from beyond their own social group, let alone a foreigner, speak their language before. I was instantly adopted by more than a few old women over the course of proceedings.

There was more singing (the same songs), more dancing, more eating and more drinking. Some people again celebrated throughout the night, but I once again accepted an offer of a bed and a chance to sleep.

I thought the next morning would be a low key, sober end to proceedings – but realised I was probably wrong when I was a woman preparing a large saucepan full of chang (home made millet beer) at 7:30 am. There was another feeding and more of the kind of carousing I was becoming used to. I could even join in on a few of the songs by this point.

When we left at 12:30 pm the party showed no signs of stopping, more than 48 hours since it commenced. I loved how easy-going everyone was. I didn't even know the families but nobody thought to question why I was there. Everyone and their whole family were there. Even the bride wore socks and sandals.

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