Monday, October 9

Wedding 40

On our first day in Kyrgyzstan, Jyghal reports that his brother - the middle of three - is to be married the next day - do we wish to join? As the oldest son, Jyghal is responsible for the wedding negotiations including the party (first of many) and a very special occasion for the two families to meet for the first time. We accept with enthusiasm and drive the seven hours to Osh on the wedding day.

The Islamic wedding is a remarkable and joyous event on the outskirts of Osh with many courses of local food including four slaughtered lamb of which the fourth goes home with the guests in large plastic carrying bags (Nb one lamb can feed 12 people). For the dinner, one lamb is smoked all day and three are boiled and everything - everything - is eaten or taken home. For me, the food is the most extravagant part of the affair costing equal to several months of a doctor's-equivalent wages.

Eitan and I have two meals with the 23 family elders and one meal, in a separate room, with the groom and his c 15 male friends. Bare in mind no English, no alcohol. It is a real affair and we feel accepted as privileged guests. A toast - in broken English - is made on our behalf which I reciprocate.

We dance and the elder women are the most uninhibited of the party ensuring that we are participating. Eitan charms their socks off.

I sit next to the "Godfather" (via Google translation, may be wrong) who is decidedly not the "best man" though he is the married-couple's age.  What does he do ? Ensures the bride and groom remain happy - I interpret it like an inner-circle friend and therapist for the groom. "It is a very big problem for me," and we share the joke.

A joyous evening