So Ellen and I attended a Turkish wedding a couple of weeks ago. I had been to one before, only two days after I had officially moved to Turkey. I was amazed then to see a wedding with no alcohol and yet people still smiling and dancing as if the water was vodka.
On this occasion it was only slightly different with one complimentary whisky or beer given out to the guests and even then I would say most of them opted to have an orange juice.
I wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew there but Phil gave me a tap on the shoulder and although I recognised him, he helped me to remember where we’d met before. It was at the Sheraton Hotel when British citizens were introduced to the new British Ambassador. I was pleased to meet his lovely wife again also. Here we are with the mother of the bride.
I told them of the Halloween Party, which was on the following night and they did indeed turn up to that with Phil and his daughter even singing some Johnny Cash on the Karaoke.
They were with some other expats and funnily enough I didn’t see many orange juices on their table but it was good to have a chat with them also, so I wasn’t left feeling so isolated. One of these years I may learn Turkish and then I wouldn’t feel so retarded for having been here for over six years and still speaking like a pigeon.
The wedding itself was much like any other well, except for the fact that the couple were actually officially married two years ago and this was the first time they could arrange to celebrate it in Turkey
The traditional music played and everyone celebrated in good style. I got sidetracked from the dancing to play with some of the children that were there, pretending to steal the fake money that was being thrown around. If it was real money, the game would have took on a more sinister vibe but as it was I was happy to play along.
There is a part of the wedding when people pin money on the bride. This is a public gift so many of the notes were high in value, as if to display the generosity of the gift. I only had coins on me, so I went to the toilet for that part of the ceremony.
Next came the manly dancing bit where the men stomp around, while the big drum encourages them on. It was entertaining to watch them and the seeing young boys imitating them was quite funny.
They also had a section whereby the groom and then the bride stood on the drum for a while. I have no idea why but I am thinking of taking up learning the drum just for this part of the ceremony alone.
Then the mothers had a dance together as looked the custom and it was then time for us to go home as the free beer had dried up.