An Afghan Wedding

Zeenat |

Weddings in Afghanistan and India have lots of differences. Going to someone’s wedding, being a part and witnessing someone’s new life is quite exciting.
In India, Afghani weddings are very rare because most of our relatives are in Afghanistan. So, one evening, when I went  to someone’s wedding here in India, it reminded me of my culture, my country.
This particular evening  i wished that i was in Afghanistan,  living in peace with relatives and friends. Suddenly when I came out of my day dream and realized that it is not possible to go back into the world that I had been a part of, made me sad.
However at present, we are living with people who are not known to us. Initially, it was a big problem to adjust with the people whom we didn’t know.
Once we  start knowing them, it becomes easier to adjust with them, to talk to them and to extend friendship.
I have met  many people  here. All of them have been good to us and they never let us feel lonely. Now we have become friends.
So we like to attend the weddings of  these people, whom we have met recently.
The interesting thing about these weddings are the cultural aspects. Wedding gives a chance to be in touch, meet friends and takes our mind away from the usual busy , mundane routine.
When we enter the hall, the decorations are different from Afghanistan yet somethings are similar. The elderly people sit at the gate to welcome the guests.
In Afghan weddings, males and females sit in separate halls however, here, both  of them sit with their family in one hall.
The clothes they wear are somewhat similar to the ones, people wear in Afghanistan.
The girls wear the same dresses though, in Afghanistan, the girls wear full sleeves,  here they wear half sleeves.
The brides are usually seen wearing white long dresses and grooms are seen wearing  suits.
When the bride and groom enter the hall for the occasion, the young girls and boys start dancing to Afghani songs. After that ,mehendi takes place. We do ‘Attan’. It is  our culture dance and we are expected to wear our Afghani dress which we call Gand Afghani.
After ‘Attan’ is over, all the girls and boys go up on the stage and  take  photos with the married couple. Then they come and change their dresses,  if they want. Maternal uncle of the bride puts mehendi on her hands. This also takes place in Afghanistan. After that all girls and boys continue their dance. Sometimes they dance to rehearsed numbers or else they dance to whichever songs are being played. After few minutes, dinner is served. The relatives of bride and groom take the microphone to welcome the guests and wish the couple the very best for their future. Here we stand in a queue and take plates to get food for ourselves. In Afghanistan we sit at the table and the waiter comes to us to serve food. The party here ends early whereas in Afghanistan, most of the wedding parties end at 12 or 1.

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