Monday, May 21, 2012

Cambodian Weddings

Cambodians Weddings are some of the craziest parties I've ever gone to. They are full of food, beer, and dancing. Up here in my province weddings are done in the afternoon. Most of the country holds weddings at night, but I've been told that since Pol Pot, during the Khmer Rouge had control of this area longer, that there was a curfew in effect longer so they started doing their weddings in the afternoons.

This post will be a general post about weddings...and then I'll go deeper into certain aspects of the weddings.

Weddings usually happen in the 'Wedding Season' which lines up with the dry season in Cambodia. Weddings usually last about 2 days. The first day is the actual ceremony and is a very long day. It begins early in the morning where the couple are blessed by the monk and there is a large parade of people carrying fruit and small gifts. This day and evening are filled with many traditional ceremonies and song, and dance. The second day is the party where everyone comes and eats and celebrates and dances, and basically gets insanely drunk.

Right before we left for Scotland a niece of our host family got married to a teacher. It was a big deal. Her family is really rich, and she had been studying in Phnom Penh before the wedding, so things came from Phnom Penh and no expense was spared. We missed the party part, but we were there in full force for the ceremonies. We stayed all day and came back for more ceremonious monk prayers and dinner, but skipped out on the late night dancing in order to catch some sleep before our early trip to Thailand.

Since it was a family wedding, I got my hair did. I went to the salon right next to my house where all the teenagers go, so I didn't get a traditional up-do, I just told them to make my hair pretty. I ended up with a Khmer pop star hair-do. I had also just gotten a traditional wedding outfit made, probably the most uncomfortable outfit I've worn in Cambodia thus far, it's very structured and hot.

 Then everyone sits down at the tables. Every single wedding I've been do has the same pattern of table cloth and chairs, and tent...Every wedding is marked by one of these tents.

 After lunch the family goes upstairs and sits for pictures while the photographer poses every single person in the picture. Since we were there we were put into the pictures and had to sit uncomfortably for an hour and a half while they took pictures with all of the fruit and food that was brought to the ceremony.
 The happy couple.
 Then the after lunch, a ritual ceremony starts where all of the adult couples pretend to cut the newlyweds hair, sprinkle water on them, and sprinkle cologne on them. Here is x-ray and bookie during their turn.
 And here you can see Hal giving himself a little sprinkle of cologne too.
And lastly, here's a video right after the first ceremony in the morning. Weddings are ridiculously loud. Music is played from giant speakers any time the monk isn't talking through an echoing microphone.
If a wedding is next door, or even on your block, you probably aren't getting much sleep until they turn it off around 10-11, but beware, the next day's festivities start with a 4 a.m. blasting music wake up call.

Overall weddings can be a lot of fun. Families go all out on weddings and try to make them a lot of fun, and a big event. Everyone who comes to the wedding gives $5-10 depending on the area, and more if you know them well. This is your wedding gift, and they use this to help pay for the wedding festivities.


Ying Susan L Vang said...

this is so pretty. a place i would love to visit someday.

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Haha, weddings are loud! It's a celebration. :) Interesting with the cologne sprinkles...hey, why not?! lol


Ashley said...

l love the idea of a 2 day celebration. Fantastic!!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Sounds like so much fun!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

How cool! I love that they make it last two days!

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