Have you ever been to a wedding where you didn’t see the bride? Well we have. On Friday we were invited to attend the wedding of Mirwais, our day guard. Since Winter and I didn’t have appropriate wedding attire, some friends graciously let us borrow from them. It is important to have some sparkle to your outfit and to wear lots of jewelry. Your jewelry reflects how much your husband loves you. The wedding began about 10:30 with children and ladies in the downstairs rooms and outside and the men upstairs. The ladies chatted amongst themselves and there was also dancing. A young boy played an instrument called a Harmonia which reminded me of an accordion and another older boy accompanied him on drums. Two ladies would dance at a time. Sometimes the dance was more energetic and other times more fluid. Winter, David, another lady from our team and I were able to sit where we could see all the action well and also interact with the family as they came by to greet us. I danced twice once with a cousin of Mirwais and another time with his aunt.�
After the dancing, a meal of Qabli palau was served. Then it was time for Mirwais to go get his bride who lives in a village outside of Kabul. His friends decorated his car and most of the guests got into one of two buses to follow behind. We joined the procession as far as our house. Due to security, we were not able to go out to the village. At the village, Mirwais and his family signed a contract with his wife’s family and after some celebration there, Mirwais would bring his wife back to his home. The room we sat in for the wedding had been decorated with flowers taped to the wall and many other decorations. This would be the room where the bride and groom would live. In Afghan culture, the couple will live with the husband’s family. We hope to meet Mirwais’s wife in the near future. Not seeing the bride in our case was partly due to logistics. In most weddings, men will never see the bride and maybe not even some of the women. It depends on how conservative the family is or even how big the wedding is.
We were happy to be able to celebrate and honor Mirwais on his special day. For us, it was also a fun day experiencing Afghan culture.