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Journals from Spring Semester 08: Oaxaca, Mexico

2008-03-27 Bodas=Weddings

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Adriana and Alejandro at the end of the ceremony.

Hola, I have been pretty busy lately with school and family things, but since my last entry was about love, I thought I should take time to describe bodas or weddings in Mxico. My host brother Alejandro, who is 21, and his now wife, Adriana, also 21, were married on February 23rd. They have been together for at least a year or two, Im not quite positive. Anyway, the wedding was beautiful! Of course, the entire ceremony was completed in Spanish in front of a Catholic church. The church was enclosed by tall walls, which made everything seem much more personal and private. Adriana was wearing a strapless 2 piece, tan/cream dress. It was gorgeous! Her hair was adorned with white and orangeish flowers. Her jewelry was very simple and very elegant, all gold too. She held a bouquet of white roses. The train on her dress was very long! Someone had to walk behind her and hold it before the wedding started; luckily it was removable. Alejandro wore a tan/cream suit with a white shirt underneath and a tan tie. My host dad and my other host brothers wore suits as well, and my host mom wore a dress. Everyone there was dressed nicely. I know I've already said it, but I cant say this enough, everything was just very simple and elegant. The first part of the wedding was the legal ceremony with a judge. The judge spoke of the legality of the union. The bride, groom, and their parents signed a form agreeing that their union is indeed real and based on love. Everyone toasted to the union. Following the legal ceremony was the wedding. There stood the priest with two chairs in front of him, one for the bride and one for the groom. During the ceremony the priest spoke of the union of the bride and groom and their responsibilities. In one part of the wedding, two girls put a lasso around the necks of the bride and groom. The lasso signifies unity, devotion, and commitment. Next they exchanged the rings. After this exchange, my other host brother, Arturo, dedicated a song to the couple and sang it well. The priest spoke more about what it meant to be married. When they were finally married, they kissed and we applauded. The music during the reception was great! They had people singing and playing instruments. My host dad played the guitar and sang. Alejandro dedicated a song to Adriana and later, Arturo and Alejandro sang a song called Solo Para Ti. They all sing amazingly! Dinner was served and consisted of traditional Mexican food. One of the dishes consisted of chicken and mole. Im not quite sure how to describe mole, but it is very different than anything I have eaten in the United States. There was also a rice dish, bean dish, and plenty of tortillas. We ate chiles rellenos or stuffed chiles and nopales or prickly pear cactus. I dont recall the names of everything or even exactly what we ate, but I remember thinking that I wanted to get seconds and thirds! Later the couple cut the wedding cake and the waiters served it to all the guests. During one part of the reception, my other host brother, Beto began to play this sort of evil/sadistic song and Alejandros friends grabbed him and carried him in the air. They were going to throw him in a fountain, but they decided against it and threw him up in the air several times. While doing this they chanted and chanted. I couldnt understand what they were saying anyway. Apparently it is common to sort of "torment" the groom. I noticed something that I have never noticed at an American wedding before. Adriana had thirteen gold coins. I did a little research and found that they signify the grooms, or Alejandros, undeniable and never-ending confidence and trust in his wife. It signifies that he places everything he owns in her care. Since she obviously accepted these, it signifies that she will be completely dedicated and prudent with him and his belongings. The couple received rosary beads as well, which I assume have to do with the Catholic faith. Like at every wedding I have ever been too, they received a prayer book and a Bible as well. This was by far the longest wedding I have ever been to! We were there from noon to around 10 PM. It was probably the best wedding I have ever witnessed too. Everyone was lively and happy, the music and food was great, and the drinks kept coming! Buenas noches! Erica Reinhold

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