Saturday, February 19, 2005

Unhappy Couple

Unhappy Couple, originally uploaded by efroymson.

After all the difficulties with getting a visa for Bangladesh, I am now in Dhaka. Arrived yesterday, in time for the wedding ceremony. There was no drinking or dancing, but there was food and an opportunity to view the couple, first individually then together.

Traditionally Bangladeshi brides are to look unhappy at their wedding, since they are leaving home. This bride had an additional reason to look unhappy, as her father had passed away after a long illness just two days before.

There was a lot of meat, both chicken and beef, of which I did not partake. (I had a very large lunch after arriving here which was delicious, including fish tikka with chili, vegetable curry, and a very fine dal. Eaten with garlic Nans that were also delicious, and washed down with a lot of water, as I am beginning to become more wary of dehydration). The chicken legs looked like they had come from some very thin birds, but they were covered in a red sauce with all kinds of spices in.

Some other impressions: terrifying the children by hoisting them in the air and flipping them over my shoulder. Two of them actually sat down and put their hands on their chests as if they were having palpitations. Perhaps Bengali parents are not as physical with their children as some of us?

Wedding as fashion show. The bride is dressed beautifully, but there were plenty of other sari and jewel bedecked women and girls. The jewelry apparently inspired the presence of a sub-machine gun toting commissioner, who successfully deterred any dacoity.

Warm and humid, at one point it occured to me to go outside to escape the heat generated by the crowd of guests, only to find that the hall had A/C and it was warmer outside.

Having been told that Lunch is Ready, I will close here.


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