Hello! I haven’t forgotten you! A week ago today was my last day at work, and now the plan is to just do private lessons. It’s a little risky I know, but I don’t think I will be sleeping on the streets. It’s been a pretty busy week actually, running around and meeting people, starting lessons, organizing the TONS of worksheets I made copies of at WSI. Anyway, wish me luck! I bought a printer yesterday which I’m really really excited about and will make my life so much easier.
I’m finally getting around to writing about Yakup’s (Cengiz’s brother, you’ve heard a lot about him, we’re close) weddings. I hope I don’t bore you but they are so different than American weddings, I think you might enjoy hearing about them!
The first wedding was in Sermin’s (the wife) village, about 3 hours from Istanbul. Before the wedding, we met at a friend’s house to get ready and eat. Poor Yakup couldn’t stop sweating and he had to wear a bib while eating dinner. In the middle is Bertal, a good friend.
A tradition is to decorate the car that is taking the bride and groom to the wedding site. It was an honor to sit in the front of the car with Cengiz, who was the chauffeur! As we drove to the bride’s house, people were honking, flashing their lights and vice versa.
Along the way to the bride’s house we stopped and took some pictures.
We go to the bride’s house to “want” her, meaning we sit around and drink Fanta while she gets ready. Another tradition is for the bride to write the names of all of the single girls on the bottom of her shoe, and at the end of the night…I can’t remember….I think whoever’s name is still there will be the next to get married.
Every single wedding dress I’ve seen are super puffy, it’s the way all the wedding dresses are here. It looked so difficult – trying to walk, dance, and sit!
Then we stand outside waiting to take her, and waiting for her family to hand her over. We had to wait a long time! There were musicians though, and so there was some dancing while we waited.
Here she comes! And the red sash means…well…they’ve waited for some things.
Kind of overwhelmed!
There was a cameraman and the poor guy rode in front of us in a van with the back open, video taping us driving to the wedding site. Fascinating coverage! He was wobbling on a stool the whole time.
They really enjoy fire at the weddings – more to come! I thought this was a really pretty entrance though.
More flames during the first dance.
And pretty much all the happened the rest of the night was dancing! There was normal slow dancing:
Then there’s this dance where you kind of walk or shuffle around and clap or snap with your arms out to the side. People always laugh at me when I do it but I don’t think anyone looks graceful doing it! Also I think it’s funny to see a foreigner doing traditional dances but they appreciate it so much.
Then there is the horon, another traditional Turkish dance. You move around in a circle and I hope I can put a video up so you can hear the music, it’s great. I learned it at the next wedding, and I was impressed with myself and people were impressed with me! Not that it was good, but I could kind of do it!
Now the best part of a wedding.
Some people bring presents but the more common thing is to put money or gold onto a sash. It’s a great idea I think, so they don’t get a dozen blankets but can put their money towards something they need.
The man not looking at the camera is Cengiz and Yakup’s older brother. I didn’t know him that well before but we had a lot of time together this weekend, so that was good to get to know him more.
Phew, and I was finished. I had to go sleep in the car I was so tired, I don’t know how everyone else held up!
Next, the wedding in Trabzon!!