My big fat Moroccan wedding…

By October 11, 2008 Insights

I’ve been extremely lucky to have been invited to a traditional Moroccan wedding this weekend… two days of feasting, dancing (so I hear), and getting dressed up. Like many things here, the way I came about discovering this invitation was quite by accident… during lunch last week Said’s mother Aisha showed a new beautiful caftan to Wafae. Having sat through a whole coucous meal conversation in Arabic of which I understood nothing, I finally had a chance to comment on the beauty of the outfit (zweena). I later learned that night from Said that the aforementioned caftan was for his brother Said’s wedding in one weed and h by the way, I must come and I need appropriate attire (I mean really… how do you plan for these things?). Thus started my week of shopping…

The wedding takes place over 2 days – last night and today – and I learned I needed a different outfit for each. I am now the owner of a very beautiful green and gold djabador, and a shocking pink Moroccan caftan with gold trim and a brocade belt. Of course I also had to buy gold shoes and a gold purse to match, and new earrings.

Last night we (the groom’s family) walked through the narrow streets carrying a big bouquet of roses to a house where the bride’s side waited. The women all chanted on the way there. Within the great atrium of the traditional home, the bride sat poised on a raised brocade seat and draped in emerald green and gold silks with more gold and pearl jewelry than you’d ever seen. A woman decorated her hand and feet with intricate henna designs while everyone sat and ate sweets, drank tea, talked, drummed, clapped and sang… at least this is what the women did. The men were all in side salons probably talking about soccer.

The groom, Rashid, sat next to his fiancee and many photos were taken (I’m in one). Finally the couple signed their official wedding contract. This is the point of this event. At about midnight huge platters of coucous and roasted chickens were served and we finally all went home around 2am.

Today is an even bigger party with hundreds of people and I’m not sure exactly what happens though I hear there is a lot more singing and dancing… I’ll let you know!

So that’s my life here… one moment swinging a laughing autistic child in the air as he pulls my hair and gets drooling bisquit pieces on my sweater, the next sitting like a princess in a fairy tale getting my hand henna’d. Who would have thought.