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Sunday, September 7, 2014

First Russian Wedding

Just got back from Nancy's (my sister's Russian friend) wedding!

I've never been to a western/white people wedding before, so this was really interesting! And, I don't recall dressing up for a wedding while wearing a hijab before either, it was so much fun though! I did my own makeup and I thought I will screw it up for sure because hey, I don't wear makeup! But, no, I rocked it after my sister showed me how last night. My sister usually takes care of my eye shadow on occasions, but because she is the bride's maid she had to be there two hours prior to the guests.

The wedding ceremony started at 4 pm and I've never seen people take their vows before, it's interesting and sweet and corny. After the ceremony was over the bride and groom left to take pictures outside while the guests stayed in the building to nibble on some snacks and drink some cocktails. I socialized here and there with a friend of the family who was so adorable, she was the first friend they made when they immigrated to Canada. The other person I talked to was an Egyptian man who is studying pharmacology. He didn't know anyone either, and he's an old friend of hers from high school. When The bride and groom arrived back, the groom's mother had a home made baked bread out for them with salt in the middle of the loaf. She then explained that it is a custom in Russia to give the newly wed couple salt and bread as a play on words. She said that this will represent the last salty moment of their life. They both ripped chunks from the loaf, dipped it in the salt and fed each other.

Bread and Salt
The guests then left to the ball room where we were seated in our tables. Someone screwed up the seating so my sister and I ended up sitting with strangers instead of sitting with the people that are around our ages who are from the bride's side, but it wasn't a big deal!

After some singing, speeches, entertainment and food, we started dancing! Oh wait, there was another cultural thing that every time someone said a speech they would scream "Gorko" and the whole crowd would start chanting "Gorko, gorko, gorko..." which indicates that the bride and groom must start kissing, and they can't stop until the crowd stops chanting. Gorko in Russian means "bitter", so I suppose they're kissing the bitter taste away? I found that interesting.

Wedding Cake & Cupcakes

I could not not dance. I thought maybe I shouldn't but EVERYONE at one point danced and I was like nope, I can't go to a wedding and not dance. I wanted to dance so badly I started telling the guys to go and dance, so when we got to the dance floor, one guy took me by my hands and pulled me in to dance. I couldn't refuse! Since my sister is with me, she can also tell me if I start making a fool of myself, but not once did she say that, she told me my dress is flowy so nothing shows when I dance. And that was all it took me to just loosen up and dance like no one's watching. I danced to Gangnam Style, 'cause that's my jam, and I danced the twist to the oldies and I danced to Kung Fu Fighting remix and Every body Dance Now, and so many others, but those are the songs I pretty much lost it at.
After some dancing they took out a box of little dress ups like a cat mask, a funky hat, some feathery scarfs and a tiara for the bride. There were also some balloons and people just all started kicking and hitting those on the dance floor. Meanwhile, I elbowed the Egyptian guy while he was walking behind me, smacked and kicked the girl next to me, and I'm pretty sure I touched her butt by mistake. She laughed it off and told me that I'm dangerous, I joked back telling her that shes going home brown and blue. She replied "typical Russian wedding", then I told her how funny it is she says all that about me when my nickname is "moving disaster". She couldn't stop laughing afterwards.

That girl also came over to our table and told us that she was delivering a message from the lady sitting next to her. She said "I can't stop looking at these two Muslim girls because they're so pretty." That totally made my day, but then she kept telling us how pretty we looked, and how she went to Paris and my outfit looked like it's from one of those fancy stored in Paris, and it got a bit awkward. Though I still love how she complimented us.

It was so much fun, we went home at 10:30 pm with our feet sore.


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