Weddings around the World

Weddings constitute a reflection of the culture of the people, because depending on the religion, country or customs of the people, weddings can be carried out in different ways. Taking advantage of the large presence of international students at Montanuniversität Leoben and the fact that May is Diversity Month, some students of different nationalities were asked what the wedding process is like in their countries.

Weddings in Mexico

Starting with my home country, weddings in Mexico are celebrated, as we are accustomed to celebrating most things – with a big party. Food and drinks are offered to the guests, and live music is provided for the guests to dance. In fact, a lot of food is offered during the party, such as: snacks, appetizers, formal dinner, dessert, sweets, etc. If the party is extended, sometimes an informal dinner such as tacos or tamales is also offered so that the guests can replenish their energy and continue dancing.

During the course of the party, the bride and groom dance to their first song as spouses and then dance with their parents, godparents and close relatives. Usually followed by a very popular activity called the “bill dance”, in which guests get up to dance with the bride and groom to give them money by putting a pin with a bill on the groom's suit and on the bride's dress. They dance for a few moments until another couple arrives and does the same.

After both events, the dance floor "opens" and all the guests start dancing. Band, mariachi and cumbia music is very popular during parties, whether it is just for an hour or all night long, as it is fun to dance to.

Other important activities during the dance are the toast by both bride and groom, the wedding cake, the throwing of the bouquet of flowers and the garter and the delivery of souvenirs.

Weddings in France

Due to France being a big country, weddings may differ according to the region. This time I will review the countryside weddings.

two months before the wedding a "funeral of the young woman's/man's life" is made. People have fun with the future bride and groom and the bridemans, Doing what the bride and groom like (karting, paintball, visiting a city in Europe).  The couple needs to wear a costume, usually a funny one. (Men and women are not together during this day because the future couple will be together for the rest of their life so they need this day to relax and have fun!).

At the beginning of the funeral day, a "coffin" is buried, filled with bottles of wines and champagne, as well as old things of the future bride and groom. The coffin will be unburied one year after the wedding.

Then on the big day, a party is offered after the wedding at the church or the town hall. Then a big banquet is offered for the guests with lots of traditional food such as Foie gras, beef and cheese. After dinner a party with lots of games and drinks for the guests is celebrated.

Weddings in Kazakhstan

The wedding process in Kazakhstan consists of a lot of very interesting ceremonial activities.

Starting with "Kudalyk", a visit of parents to the bride's house for the purpose of matchmaking. The father of the groom, the main matchmaker or the groom himself, together with his companions, arrives to visit the parents of the future bride.

“Kalym and Kyz zhasauy”. During the matchmaking, the groom's parents agree on material confirmation of the seriousness of intentions. For this purpose, it is customary to pay a monetary dowry for the bride. Modern dowry is paid in money, as well as luxury items. The dowry of the betrothed girl, according to tradition, should be in proportion to the paid kalym or exceed it.

Another tradition is “Kyz uzatu”. An ancient tradition where the “last” time is spent by relatives with the bride. At the end of the “kyz uzatu”, “synsu” should be heard - a farewell song that is performed by friends or relatives of the bride while the bride is going to a new home.

The wedding ceremony is usually concluded at the registry office. Some couples undergo a special ceremony in the mosque according to Muslim custom - “nike kiya". The wedding is celebrated until the morning and, I should mention, the second wedding takes place the next day. It is customary for Kazakhs to hold a wedding from the side of the bride and the next day from the side of the groom

The day before the wedding, in the evening, all the women taking part in the wedding practice some songs, and afterwards they sing them to the bride. The day of the wedding, friends, family are going to the bride and groom's house really early (about 5 a.m.) to light some firecrackers (very noisy ones) to wake up the bride and groom.

When the bride and groom are ready to drive to the church, it's common for friends or neighbors to block the road (somewhere between church and their home). It's called "Absperren". They block the road and don't let the bride or groom pass. They prepare games for the bride and groom based on their relationship. When they finish the game they can go further to church. People that are blocking the road are also collecting some money for the bride and groom from the wedding guests.

Then there's the ceremony in the church. After that when the bride and groom are leaving the church there might be someone standing outside to pour rice all over the couple. It's symbolic and means they get as many kids as rice corns stay on them. After the ceremony there's usually a meal somewhere for all of the guests. And then they start partying.

Later, around 11p.m., "Brautstehlen" is celebrated which means stealing the bride. It consists of a group of people from the wedding that kidnaps the bride, and the groom has to search her. And at that time they have to drink as much as they can with the bride, and the groom has to pay for everything.

Celebrating two people who want to start a life together is a beautiful thing. Love in any form and anywhere around the world should be celebrated.

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