Saturday, 24 November 2007

MY SISTER’S WEDDING: Wonders of Azerbaijani National Weddings (Part II)

Wedding Preparations

After the engagement, the preparation for the wedding starts. One of the interesting and difficult parts of it is connected with a dowry. Traditionally, the dowry of the bride given by her family shall include all necessary items of life, such as, furniture, sofa, bed, fridge, television set, etc. It is the duty of the girl’s family to provide all of these, but in some cases, groom’s side also may help in the purchase of some items. But the main duty of the groom’s side is to arrange the wedding and buy a house for young couple which is quite expensive now. So, the endless visits to different shops have started. It was really tiresome and complicated process for us, as you have to buy everything, with high quality and at least the most necessary ones.


Traditionally, two or three days before the wedding ceremony, we arrange another ceremony which is called “khina yakhdi”(painting hands with khina) during which all women from both families, including the bride, paint their hands with special substance called “khina”. Khina is a greenish powder which is mixed with water and then spread over the hands in different shapes which acquires orange color on the hands, after washing it. It symbolizes that soon these families are going to have a wedding. I have never been before to this ceremony as it includes very close relatives of both sides and it was quite exciting to see everybody with colorful hands.

At the same time, during this process, the women from the side of groom bring presents for the bride, her parents and other close relatives. In some regions of Azerbaijan, all presents for the bride are publicly demonstrated to show how they value their new bride. The more the number of the presents is the more prestigious the family of the bride groom will be accepted. Besides, in some parts, a very special presents like diamond rings or other valuable things are introduced to the mother of the bride as a symbol of gratefulness for the bringing up of a good daughter. So it was positively surprising for me when I have learnt that there was a present for me as well. It was a very nice flower bowl which is an integral part of Azeri girl’s dowry. I guess it was another hint for me.

Aynura Alakbarova,
Master student of Azerbaijan University of Languages

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