Wednesday 4 September 2013

A Wedding in Algeria

Our stay in Algeria coincided with my cousin getting married.

Weddings in Algeria are a protracted affair, usually spanning several days. Today we went to la salle (the ballroom), the party organised by the bride for family and friends. Tomorrow evening is laacha (dinner) at the bride's family home. The groom will throw his own achaa for his own family. Finally, the bride will be taken to the groom's party at the end of the week at another salle. Phew!

I had been looking forward to today's party. I knew many members of my extended family would be present, and I was right. It was a huge family gathering. I have got a large number of uncles and aunts on both my mother's and father's sides. I have an even larger number of cousins. The BabelDad with his measly total of four uncles/aunts and nine cousins is quite impressed with my fourteen uncles/aunts and seventy-four cousins!

I was glad BK1 and BK2 got to attend an Algerian wedding. They got to drink gazouz (fizzy lemonade, a name grossly stemming from eau gazeuse) and sickly-sweet tea, eat tcharak and croquets, dance to Kabyle, Algerois, Staifi, Chaoui and Egyptian music, and be kissed on the cheek by loads and loads of colourfully-dressed and fully made-up women!

At some point, BK1 pondered: "It's more like a fashion show, isn't it?". It was indeed, as the bride showcased several traditional dresses from different regions of Algeria. The bride's mother, sisters and immediate family circle changed clothes a couple of times too.

The bride then finally wore la robe blanche, flanked by her mother and the men in her family: her paternal and maternal (my dad) uncles, her two brothers and her oldest nephew.

That's when BK2 interjected:" Who is she getting married to?". The groom was nowhere to be seen, which is often the case at the bride's party. Nobody else batted an eyelid, but BK2 was most puzzled!

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