Sunday, November 15, 2009

Egyptian Wedding Celebration

Hany invited me to his cousins wedding celebration. The party happens the night before the wedding so it was just the grooms family and friends. As the only white people there, we were of course an attraction. The celebration was in some back streets where they had set up a bunch of chairs, a dj stand, a live band stand and a number of lights. This all surrounded a dance area at the intersection of the two alleys. The music was playing, but no one was dancing so the groom's father invited us up to dance. We quickly became the center of attention and got the party started. Soon after we began dancing, the women closed in and made a circle. When we finished dancing, others began to as well. Mostly men dancing with men, only a few women danced all night. At one point, a neighbor came out on his balcony and threw candy and cakes down for the kids. Everyone was very happy and those of us who were dancing took turns gyrating our way into and out of the circle.

Dinner and cakes were served and the dancing continued for hours. While the adults were sitting and eating the kids began to dance. This was there one chance to be part of the dancing, at other times they were pretty much pushed out of the dance area. We left after a few hours, but I was told that the party will go all night and that at some point, the groom is covered in henna and hit six times with a stick by his father. He then hits his younger brother six times and so on. The mother gets six kisses from the groom.

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