It's been a very culturally different weekend for me, this last weekend in Sri Lanka. On Saturday myself and Thea went along to a wedding. Muna, our lovely friend in the office at work, had invited us. It was her sister's wedding, my first in Sri Lanka and my first attendance at a Muslim wedding. The photo shows Muna, her son Aatif and her sister. It was quite an experience. For a start it was held at the home of Muna's aunt who lives next door. I have to say one of the best wedding receptions I ever went to was in the tiny front room of the couple's flat in Torrisdale Street in Glasgow so I'm all for home weddings.
We were shown into a room where the bride sat upon a chair on a raised stage, and we all sat in theatre style looking at her. I wondered how it must feel to be stared at like that until I looked around and saw that everyone was looking at me and Thea, not the bride. Wonder no more. Had forgotten what novelties we were. Everyone was absolutely lovely though, very friendly and as I've said before, we manage to communicate whatever the languages we're all speaking. At some point all the women (for it's only women who do this) got up to go and eat but we stayed and kept the bride company and paid lots of attention to her to make up for stealing some of it when we entered the room initially.
We asked lots of questions about Muslim weddings and arranged marriages and it was very interesting. We learned a lot and I tried to leave my mark by suggesting a change to one of the customs. Apparently the bride sits atop this "throne" not speaking until the groom arrives and speaks first. I suggested the other way round might be nice - no-one agreed. They did however think it a good idea to find me a nice Muslim husband, me having reached this advanced stage without even considering marriage! Pity, horror, confusion and bemusement - that pretty much sums up the reaction to my single status lol. I'll let you know if they find me someone before I leave on Thursday!
So, the cultural extravaganza continued on Saturday night when, via the gym and pool at the Lighthouse Hotel, we attended, in our own home, courtesy of our housemate Julia ...