Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weddings in Azerbaijan

Welcome to my newest label, Azerbaijani Ed. Over the next 6 months, please join me in learning more about Azerbaijani culture and communities. If you have any questions or comments - click the Comment link below!

This month, we be focusing on Azerbaijani weddings.

Okay guys, dig in because this is a pretty big topic. I definitely do not have enough space in this post to talk about the whole shebang, so I am going to break it off into smaller pieces. The most important thing to know is that weddings in Azerbaijan, although called weddings, share few similarities with American weddings.

Firstly, weddings are big deals. Actually, they are the deal. My counterpart (a few years my junior) has been to as least 60 weddings in her life. There is no US equivalent to describe how big a wedding is in Azerbaijan, so it is kind of hard to wrap your head around unless you have lived here.

Secondly, the prep of a wedding kind of follows that expected path. There is an engagement party, a bachelorette party (usually where henna is used), a girl's wedding, a boy's wedding, and then the day-after party.

Last week, I went to a bachelorette party. Amid Turkish traditions and probably some Persian customs, we ate, drank tea, and danced. One tradition is to henna your future mate's initials into your palm. I did not do this, but the future bride certainly did!

Next week, the girl's wedding!