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Imagine you are traveling through the country which has completely different culture and customs to the one you were born in. Imagine you are lucky enough to be invited to the big family event like wedding for example. If you invited, you are going to feel special, because it means, that you are allowed to witness something dear to this family. They want to show you their way of life, share their joy and proudly announce new chapter in someone’s life. 

We have visited the same family twice, on Henna Day and on the day when the future groom was “buying out” future bride. Please, note the quotation marks as this “buying out” ceremony was just a way to give future bride a lot of jewellery 🙂  and gather both families and friends together again for the night full of dancing and celebrations.

When we visited the house of the future brides on a Henna Night, we were asked to sit on one side of the huge living room in open air and our partners could sit opposite to us. 

It did not mean we were not allowed to cross from one side of the room to the other or speak with our own husbands and partners but we respected the family wishes and we sat like they wanted us to.

The Henna Night – when the future groom brings a lot of henna to the future bride house so she can have henna draw all over herself and her friends and family – is an exclusively feminine ceremony. Every women dance and sing and I and my sister were invited to share the joy too!

 There is a separate Groom night too – and this is for men only. They would sing and dance together and enjoy too!

When we came to visit again next day everything looked so beautiful and significant. The future brides were welcoming everyone together with their parents and they wore beautifully done dresses. It all looked so posh!

Both sisters dance together and after a while a lot of other guests joined in too. They really love to dance!

The ceremony was grand! There were around 200 people coming from all parts of the village. Some of the women wore traditional scarfs around their head and neck, but there was a lot of women wearing typical European clothes too.

The future brides can wear whatever dress they wish to and the future husbands must wear a shirt the same colour as the bride’s dress.

The decorations were amazing! Especially the once carved in watermelon and pumpkin.

The food was so delicious! I have never eaten so much in one night in my entire life!

During the ceremony the future husband presented his future wife with a lot of jewellery. Everyone witnessed this so he is not able to claim his gifts back if the marriage ever breaks up!

Next they exchanged rings…

Even though the future bride could not show her happiness, as she was leaving her family home, both of them clearly enjoyed their evening. 

I am hoping the future is bright for this lovely couple, against the odds! 

Israel

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