Marriages are of course elaborately celebrated in India but still celebrated on their own scale in different parts of the world. Weddings see friends and family coming together to witness and celebrate the union of a couple. Or so we thought… After having a read up some of the weirdest wedding traditions from around the world, I’m not exactly sure why and what people mean by “celebration”, “blessings”, etc. Confused? Read below to know why!
Blackening ritual, Scotland
You’ll make the most beautiful bride ever, said no one to a bride during this Scottish ritual. It involves the bride and groom being covered with all sorts of disgusting things, eggs, fish, hell, even trash! Guests can drop anything upon them as they please. Thereafter, they tie them to a tree. Why? Apparently, if you survive this then the couple is deemed to be ready for anything in their marriage. I see. “The worst is yet to come?”, no, baby, remember our pre-wedding rituals? The worst came, kissed us and left. So, I suggest you give up on Scottish spouses and chup chap get your haldi done in India.
Shooting the bride, China
In China there is an ethnic minority called Yugur. In their culture, the groom shoots their bride using a bow and arrow three times. No no, it isn’t a bloody affair as the arrows don’t actually have arrowheads. He simply targets her and shoots, then goes up to her, picks up the arrows and breaks them in half. This is supposed to symbolize that they will love and live with each other for the rest of their lives. If I was the bride, I would definitely take back that bow and arrow to practice my own shooting afterwards. ?
Spitting on the bride, Kenya
In the Maasai culture, when the wedded couple approaches the family elders for their blessings, the father-in law spits at his new daughter in law’s head and breasts. She is supposed to then turn away and walk with her husband or else risk turning into stone if she looks back. Blessing? I think we have different dictionaries, sir.
This wedding ritual is basically to the effect that if let’s say you didn’t have your bachelor’s party or bachelorette, you get to live out during your wedding! Haha okay, no, it isn’t that scandalous actually. The tradition is that whenever the bride or groom step out of the room, all other singles can come up and kiss the bride/groom whoever is inside. Um, that’s a lot of love that too from a lot of people other than your spouse. I’m not sure how friendly or inappropriate this is but if it looks like the latter then someone please bring me that arrow from the Chinese wedding and God, help my groom! ? Kiddinggg
The Human Rug, French Polynesia
This doesn’t happen across the country as such but is more typically witnessed at Marquesas Islands. The tradition is called the “human rug”. Basically, the bride’s relatives all lie face down for the bride and groom to walk over them and make their way. Did I say basic? Sorry, this is the opposite of that. It strikes me as particularly odd. Is it just me or are some of these traditions getting pretty vindictive?! For all we know there’ll be a movie called “Badla” on some of these soon!
No Smiling, Congo
So, what is your favourite thing to do at a wedding? The food? The dancing? The photo shoots? Well, if you are the bride and groom in Congo forget about the last one. Fine, you can have a photo shoot, it is just that you are not allowed to smile in it. While SRK was busy telling Naina in Kal Ho Na Ho to smile with 1, 2, 3..eee; newlyweds in Congo were told 3, 2, 1..no smiling! Marriages are a serious affair, involving a price for the bride, exchange of livestock between families and amidst such serious affairs it is considered disrespectful to smile. As the nursery rhyme went “If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it..” ah, don’t.
Bringing the fire, South Africa
Now as I’m a true Bollywood child and I love myself some happy endings, I present to you a tradition from South Africa that isn’t as weird as it is heart-warming. This involves the parents of both the bride and the groom carrying the fire from their respective homes to the new home of the newlyweds. There the fire from both of their childhood home is used to light a fire in their wedded home, so as to mark the union of the two families and the commencement of their new lives. Now doesn’t that sound quite warm? ?
So, dear friend, here you and I were busy assuming that Indian weddings unleash some craziness while it turns out that the whole world has been doing so. Oops. But all jokes aside, here’s wishing everyone a happy married life!
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