Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wedding Season

I'm headed to a wedding this rainy afternoon, which made me think of what wedding ceremonies are like around the world. Here's a quick glance at what folks in some of the countries that supply our fair trade goods do to celebrate marriage.

India: Brides in India wear pink or red for their wedding. They are also decked out in lots of jewelry, and their hands and feet are painted in exquisite patterns of henna tattoes.
After swapping vows in the ceremony, the father or brother of the groom throws flower petals on the new couple. Then, he holds a coconut over their heads and circles it around them three times.

Peru: Good-bye, bouquet toss; hellos, charm pull! In Peru, wedding charms with ribbons attached are put in between the layers of the wedding cake. Before the cake is cut and served, each single woman pulls a ribbon. Whoever pulls the ribbon with the ring is supposed to get married within the next year.

Ghana: Most Ghanans are Muslim or Christian, which of course leads to a wide variety of wedding traditions. Still, many still "knock on the door;" that is, the groom's mother and uncle visit the girl's family to formally propose the marriage for him.

Indonesia: Post-ceremony, most wedding receptions in Indonesia kick off with a procession to the reception site. Features of this procession include a long chain of flowers, and professional dancers performing traditional dances as family and friends wait for the new couple to arrive.

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