My Cousin’s wedding

This was an experience that was full of all contradictions imaginable. Yet, it was a nice one, I never thought I would enjoy a wedding. But maybe because it is close to me that I stayed and was happy with it.

So they ask us to gather at 3 and it turns out they are picking her up at 6.

We are sat there in my uncle’s place. And I start seeing men and women coming and going. It suddenly hits me that for some strange reason, the village community is much more open on itself than the city community. In other words, the villagers are not as conservative as the city dwellers. In a country where mixing males and females in one venue is sometimes frowned upon, this is not the case in my village.

So at 5 Iman comes from the hairdresser, and a black Audi A6 with all the flower decorations they have for weddings here. I act as the family photographer.

At 6 the groom’s family comes to pick the bride. The head of their extended family formally asks the head of our extended family “In the name of law and tradition we have come to take our bride to her husband’s home. We promise to keep her safe and protected in her new home as she was in her father’s home. If we have a commitment that was not fulfilled or you have a request before we can do that then we are ready to for it.” Our family head says, “Kafeitu wu wafeitu (You have done all that is expected). Your bride is ready for you to take.”

Her older cousin (me) should take her to the car, put her in and see her off.

The wedding procession starts. It is more of a car show crossed with a presidential convoy. Everyone is honking all along the short road between the two villages.

On the road, I look right. I notice the two road networks that run across all my country. One, paved and lit, Israelis only (although it is built on the village’s land). The other, unpaved and dark, on which the procession goes. Two electricity grids also run across. Again, one seems highly developed, the other composed of simple lamp posts connected with one cable.

It is strange how many Palestinians listen to Hebrew music. What is stranger though is the fact that Eastern Hebrew music is what is popular. Even if you didn’t understand Hebrew, you would know from the rhythm which is very similar to Arabic rhythm. Also, you will notice that the “Heit- ח” in Hebrew is pronounce more like a strong ‘H’ rather than the German Ch. “Resh- ר” is simply an English R as opposed to the French R pronounced by western Jews. “Ein- ע” is pronounced as it is in Arabic and not in English.

The procession stops few hundred meters from the house for the “Zaffeh”. Apparently the bride’s father, and her maternal uncle should take her out of the car and bring her to her groom (although she was sitting next to him), I say that because we didn’t now of this particularity and the bride’s uncle was not happy with what he saw as marginalisation.

So we finally reach the wedding. “Nuqut”, which is a money gift to the bride or the groom, is received. Close family members also give gold gifts. And then dancing until late.

My uncle was very moved. This was the first of his sons and daughters to be married. You don’t usually see tears in his eyes.

All in all, it was very nice.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Mabrok. I like your discriptions, makes me remember times in Palestine. Shireen

elena said...

hey my friend, remember that you promised me to let me participate to a wedding in Palestine.... next time I'll be there...