Friday, July 6

My First Sanjee

I went to my first Sanjee tonight. I'm still not clear as to what one is, but today seemed to have been the equivalent to a mehndi in an Asian Muslim wedding. I say equivalent with respect to timing only; yes, it was held a few days before the wedding itself, but it was nothing like any mehndi/haldi I've been to.

Firstly, the men participated as much as the ladies did. There was no special tent for women to have all the fun in, while the guys skulked elsewhere waiting to be called upon to drive home. Secondly, there was live music and singing, although I supposed some mehndis deliver that too. There were also fewer formal ceremonies too; just a couple of set dances really as opposed to the applying of mehndi, oil or whatever Asian Muslims do nowadays.

It was really enjoyable actually. I've no idea of the formal names of the particular sessions, but there were three dances, each lasting between thirty minutes and an hour: one going in a circle, one with three steps and a jump and then, of course, the dandia (something I feel a bit of a poignant affinity too, possibly due to growing up with them when I was younger). And yes, I participated in all three. I did okay, but knew to quit after I started crashing into people.

A few friends of the wedding family did individual performances - singing and dancing and the like. Dinner was served half way too; the bride's side is strictly vegetarian and teetotal (a pleasant surprise to me), so it was really nice to not have to worry about what I was eating or drinking. A couple of us even managed to get away to read Maghrib during a break in the proceedings.

The groom being a university friend also made it special - unfortunately it's not often we all get together nowadays, let alone at such an auspicious occasion. It was wonderful to see how far people had come - each of us hitting that age where we now bring new partners, new characters and new stories to these kind of things. And oh, I don't think anyone would mind me commenting on how positively gorgeous all the female guests were (although if I get lynched over the next couple of days, you'll now know why).

Despite planning on leaving by ten, it was clear that wouldn't be possible. Still, any price I pay tomorrow trying to stay awake is a fair price to pay for having had such a good time. The tone has now been set for the weekend.

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