Friday, June 15

The Gate Ceremony

After the Nikkah ceremony was performed we made our way to the in-laws house for a bit of a party. Before we were allowed in, however, the little business regarding the Gate Ceremony had to be dealt with.

For those of you who don't know, the traditional "Gate Ceremony" is when the bride's side either stops the groom's side from entering the family home, or alternatively stops them both from leaving. Either way it's a bit of a hostage situation and where we (my family that is) usually take it as a fun and playful joke, others take it deadly seriously; something about honour or pride or something. As I soon found out, both sides here fell into the latter category.

The point for me, of course, is to pay out as little as possible. I was made the chief negotiator for our side; unusually the brides side had one of the maternal uncles doing the talking (as opposed to female siblings and cousins). I found that a bit odd, not least because of the not-so-playful challenges being made to me during the past week.

Still, our strategy of setting the uncle dares ("hug the bear!"), publicly embarrassing him and then even pitching his own people against him, meant that we got away relatively cheaply. In fact, judging by some of the comments made after it was all over, we might have done a bit too well. I'm actually a bit concerned that we may have even offended some people!