Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mabrouk! - My First Moroccan Wedding

Last week, a friend and fellow PCV who lives in the neighboring town married her Moroccan boyfriend. I told my host family that I was going to a wedding, and then suddenly everyone knew about it, because I’m a foreigner and therefore interesting to talk about, and yesterday at the Dar Shabab, while I waited for students, my mudir and some of his friends asked me about the wedding.

When they found out the bride was an American who married a Moroccan, they were excited.

"Would you marry a Moroccan?" they asked me.

"Eh, maybe? If I meet the right man."

"There's three men right here! You should marry Mustafa. He has a car!"

I laughed and said maybe and the conversation moved on. This is by far one of the least awkward marriage conversations I've had, since at least I knew all the guys in question and no one was particularly serious, although my mudir did tell a story about another PCV who married a Moroccan and then at the end of her service, they went back to America, which lead to a conversation about whether I could get someone a green card, which led to a lot of me waving my hands around and telling them that I really don't know the particulars about green cards and visas into the US, seeing as I don't need them, and no, I won't look up that information for you.

Still, much less awkward that the time my taxi driver spend the entire ride asking me to marry him.

Kelly's wedding was my first Moroccan wedding.  It only lasted a few hours, so it was more of a Moroccan wedding-lite, a fact for which I'm grateful since Moroccan weddings are intense and I'm glad I got a trial run before my first real one.  (Traditional Moroccan weddings start sometime in the afternoon with parade, and then the party last all night.  No seriously, all night, the bride's family is responsible for serving breakfast to all the guests the next morning while the couple has some, ahem, alone time.)

The wedding party was mostly Moroccans, but there were a couple of PCVs in attendance, and it was fun to see friends who live across the country.  There's no real religious component to a Moroccan wedding, and the couple didn't go to a mosque or stand before the Imam or any other Muslim equivalent of a Christian wedding.  Kelly and her new husband, Karim, just signed some paperwork in the his family's living room and then we danced and hung out for a while everyone took super posed pictures with the bride and groom.  We ate cake and roast chicken and chicken and prune tajine (in that order) before Kelly and Karim headed to Marrakesh for their honeymoon and the rest of the guests headed home.  Kelly's mom couldn't make it to Morocco for the wedding, but she watched the entire party via Skype and the PCVs made a point of sitting with the computer so we could translate what was happening.

Mabrouk to Kelly and Karim.

Kelly's Wedding
Kelly's wedding henna and her ring.  There was also henna on her feet.

Kelly's Wedding
Kelly finishing her makeup at the hair salon before the car ride to her wedding.

Kelly's Wedding
PCVs!  From l → r: Ally, me, Bethany and Carrie.  I'm the only one not in traditional Moroccan clothes because I found out about the wedding the day before I left for Spain and didn't have time to get a caftan once I got back.  Also, this is the first time I'd worn a tank top or my hair lose since getting to Morocco.  I had to pile clothes on before I could go back to my site.

Kelly's Wedding
Kelly and Karim signing their marriage paperwork (I suppose it's the marriage license).  I can't believe she's married.

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