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Iraqi Wedding Traditions

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                                                       Iraqi Wedding Traditions
                                                              By Rafi Michael



    Every wedding starts with the engagement, the guy see a girl, then if they like each other, he asks
for her hand (in other words to get marry), she might be a relative, neighbor, cousin, they might be
work mates, or students in the same collage etc. First he goes with his parents to hers, and tells them
his desire to ask their daughter to get marry, (if the girl's father is dead, he should go to her eldest
uncle).

The parents ask about the guy whether he is good, polite, co-operative, etc, in his work place or his
collage, and they also ask about his family reputation.

Then after the agreement there is a tradition we call " Mashaya" in which the men ( specially the most
solemn men) from both families get the chance to meet each other , to get the good impression about
each other, you see the lineage of the family is very important here..

When the girl says "Yes", they buy the engagement rings, a golden one for the girl and a silvery or
platinum one for the guy.

Then the engagement party (Khitooba) is the coming step, in this party the girl and the guy's close
family members are usually invited, (the parents, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts and cousins). In this
party they wear the rings, the fiance also bring a golden gift to his fiancee, dinner will be served , music
as DJ or a band is very important to celebrate this important event.

During the engagement time they begin to know each other more and more , and of course, they start
shopping for their new house .In these days, as the life is very expensive, it is not easy for the young
men to buy a house, that is why they may live in his parents' house, they may build an apartment in the
garden or as a second floor apartment.

Shopping includes buying clothes, jewelries, make-up stuffs, perfumes, the wedding "Nishan" and
"Laylit al henna" party's dresses, they also look for house's necessities & furnishers ).

After that there is another party called " Nishan ", where the traditions are so much fun.

Anyway, the bride wear many dresses ( long time ago in Mosul the bride used to wear 7 dresses, but
now they wear 3-5 depend on their financial condition, I didn't know that till my friend talked about her

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sister's Nishan and how they follow the old traditions and bought seven dresses, red, blue, off-white,
black, yellow ,and purple I don't know what is the seventh colour ), both families and the fiance adduce
golden jewels to the bride, now days the life become more expensive that's why some bride's family
comprehend the groom's financial condition , and not incommode him to bring much, only few grams,
but there are still some families ask for very much gold, specially the Kurds, who adduce kilos of gold
to the bride!!.

As they may make a heavy golden belt to her.

Nishan is like all the parties, there is music, dancing, then dinner, my mom's Nishan started at 10 pm
till 2 am!! But now because of the stroll bans and the very bad situation, the Nishan party starts at 3 pm
till 6!!!! In spite of the very hot weather, it's SUMMER for god sake.

What can people do?

My relative "Noor" want to have her Nishan party in a celebration arena, because their house is too
small, but they can't, it is not safe. My grandma told her that she is welcome to have her party in our
large garden.

(Two years ago, we had Nishan party for my dad's cousin in our garden, I was the DG girl, I have many
music CDs and it was a beautiful Nishan party).

Anyway after Nishan or before it there is al-Qiran, it is the lawful wedding.

In Qiran, the judge joins the two bridegrooms to be a husband and wife.

After the Qiran union, the new couple allocates candies in special cups to everybody they know,
neighbors, relatives, friends, colleagues etc, to inform them about their union.

A night before the wedding day, there is "Lailat Al-henna" party in this day; one of their relatives put the
privet in the newlywed's pinkie or palm. Some relatives may like to have privet in their hands too.

The bride's mother, aunt, or anyone close prepare the Henna's salver, they put green plant we call it"
ace ", it really smells good, henna (means the privet), and some candles, I love the salver's view. (The
Shiite has different tradition in Qiran and lailat al henna, they put the seven whites, I wrote a post about
that once).

Lilat al Henna is a small party, just like the engagement party, just for the new couple, their parents,
brothers and sisters, close friends and some time uncles and aunts.

After the Lailit al Henna the Wedding day comes (finally , huh? ), it is just like yours, the bride wear her
white dress, and the groom his new suit .they either bring a real band or DJ .the two couples dance as
well as their friends and relatives, they make Dabka( special dance in my country), then cake
ceremony comes next, and in most of the weddings the bride get jewelries from her family, her
husband and his family and from some close friends. Then dinner is served too.

 After that the honey-moon starts, as there are no hotels in the last three years, they spend their honey
moon in their apartment, or if they have money they go to the north or our side Iraq.



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There is another party after the wedding called the Fourth-day (Arb3t Ayam) in Mosul ,and the
seven-days (Sab3t Ayam) in Baghdad, it is not necessarily after four days nor seven days ,some times
they make it after two weeks or a month.

In this party the bride dress her wedding dress and many other new dresses or her Nishan dresses, in
this party, the guests bring the gifts.

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                                       Czech Republic Wedding Traditions
                                                By Rafi Michael



Celebrating weddings in Toronto is a multi-cultural event. So by keeping that in mind, there are many
different wedding celebrations, because each culture has their own wedding traditions. This article will
focus specifically on Czech Republic wedding traditions. So what makes a Czech Republic wedding
different from that of a Greek wedding or Italian wedding? For starters, Czech Republic wedding
traditions are preserved and they date back several hundreds of years. Of course, some Czech
Republic wedding traditions are newer than other traditions and some are old, very old, in any event,
that is what makes a Czech Republic wedding tradition unique.

 As is with every wedding ceremony, reception and celebration, the focus is the bride and the Czech
Republic weddings are no different. Czech Republic brides have to follow the old adage "wearing
something new, something old, something borrowed, and something blue." In a Czech wedding
ceremony, a bride wears the garter to signify something blue, something that will come in handy as the
day wears on. The part about wearing something borrowed stems from wearing a piece from a friend
who is already married. The friend does not have to be the same nationality just married a very
important trait in the Czech tradition. The last two points, something old, has to come from a family
heirloom, possibly jewellery or a veil, all depending and something new is something that the bride
wants to symbolize and a new beginning in hers and her husbands life.

 As is the case with most marriages, a Czech wedding has most of its traditions take place at the
reception. And to get the festivities started at the reception, someone designated within the wedding
party breaks a plate to not only signal the beginning of the party, but to introduce the bride and groom
and to symbolize happiness. Cute things that take place in a Czech wedding are that the bride and
groom share many dining things together, they eat soup together, there is only one spoon only so
symbolically, and they are forced into each other together. This symbolizes that they are united and
that they have to compromise for the good of the both of them. Another fun tradition is several hours
into the party, the friends of the groom kidnap the bride and hide, the groom has to quickly find his
bride and if he fails to do so in a certain period of time, the groom has to buy the bride back from his
friends, this symbolizes that the groom has to take care of his precious wife forever.

 So in conclusion, a Czech Republic wedding in many ways is no different from a Greek wedding or an
Italian wedding, however, in so many ways a Czech Republic wedding is so different from a Greek
wedding and an Italian wedding, and it is the subtleness of those differences that makes traditional
weddings in the most multi-cultural of settings and cities so different and so beautiful!

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