Sunday, February 18, 2007

Everybody Smile......And Act Gracious (It's my wedding party and I'll booty shake if I want to)

Firstly, I will state that my in laws are lovely people and I felt very comfortable staying with them, Alhamdulilah.

So the wedding party. My dress was big and white, but very nice in a confectionary type of way. I had my hair "did". Yulia Tymoshenko would have been proud.

The big shock was the make up. I don't wear much make up, never have. I wore some for my Nikah and it took all of five minutes to do. I know that in the Middle East they are not so into subtle make up (think cosmetic counter ladies). But.. to open your eyes and see yourself wearing drag queen levels of make up. Immediately, noticing the stunned horror on my face, I was reassured by cries of "helou, helou" (pretty in Arabic). I had to mumble that it was more make up then I was used to. I figured with the big hair and the big dress the make would probably make sense, which it did, Alhamdulilah.

As for the party, I was told about dancing, but I don't think I grasped the concept, that I would be dancing by myself in front of everyone (note: the party was female only until my husband arrived). The first dance happened just after I arrived. Thoughout I was thinking "I'm going to kill my husband". Especially as I was shortly put to shame by all the expert belly dancers.

Most people at the wedding were very nice, but sat up on my throne I still felt some hostility. I'm sad to say that but it's true. Eventually, I thought "I've done nothing to hurt these people, I love my husband, we married in a halal manner, being white/non-arab is not a crime, so screw the haters".

The second dance was to "Yeah" by Usher (I know!). I decided not to pretend to belly dance and booty shaked instead. I admit I had the attitude of "You think I'm a bad Western girl, well I'll dance like one". Maybe not the wisest of ideas but the big dress stopped it from looking too lewd and to the nice people there it was seen as me getting into the mood of the party. To the not-nice people, I hope it gave them something to talk about.

Then there was an announcement that my husband was on the way and a flurry of re-hijabing and covering.

The best part of the night was after he arrived. We danced and he presented me with some gold jewellery. He had explained that it was tradition to do this, and he didn't want me to get anything less than what a bride usually gets. Then we had to do the really cheesy stuff like drink from the same glass and feed each other pudding. Although it was cheesy, I was loving every minute.

I went to bed that night with solid hair (It took ten washes to get all the product out of it,not to mention the assistance of my sister in law to remove all the hair pins) eye make up I still couldn't completely remove, but really, really happy, because I married a man who's worth all of this and has a family who made it fun. Alhamdulilah.


Alina said...

Wow, sounds like a great wedding. And all the hostility, well who cares. Let them have their gossip, it will to them no good anyway.

As for the cheesy stuffs, they do make sense when with the right person, don't they?

Congratulations again!

otowi said...

A lot of that stuff I wouldn't want at my wedding (I'd be saying no to the dancing, the hair, the makeup,lots of strangers at the wedding, etc.,)
But the part with your dh sounds nice.

luckyfatima said...

alf wa alfein mabrook aleik ya aroosa! looooolooooooloooooo!

show us your wedding pics if u can habibti.

you r lucky u married an arab cuz desi brides don't get to dance they have to sit and play shy and stare at the floor. how fun that u got to dance!

and ignore the haterz, not much more u can do than that.


TwennyTwo said...


WOW mabrook! Congrats, at least you enjoyed it, nemmind the haters.


Ali la Loca said...


I am so happy that it turned out like this. And dancing to Usher as your second song really broke some cultural paradigms for me - love the image that conjured up in my mind.

I agree - I would love to see a photo if you are able/willing. That makeup, the dress, and the hair all sound beautiful despite the fact they were such a production.

kaleidomuslima said...

congrats! mashallah...sounds like you had a great time! i can't imagine dancing to usher in a wedding dress...and all by yourself!?! where were all the young ones ready to shake it?

inshallah may you two be blessed with happiness and health forever and ever. ;)

Maxxed`ouT said...

Sounds like a great wedding mashaALLAH.
Mabrouk Safiya

Abu Sinan said...

Interesting, haivng married into an Arab family myself, I understand what you mean.

Let me tell you, it is pretty common for white women to marry Arabs and most Arabs are used to the concept.

Try marrying one of their daughters/sisters/cousins. It is funny, the guys are really jealous and upset often, but they wouldnt mind marrying a white lady themselves.

Often, and one lady even said this at our wedding, the Arab ladies would like to find a nice convert guy to marry.

We had fun at our wedding, but being that it was mixed company with women, men, Christians, Jews and Muslims, we skipped the dancing and the other stuff.

Safiya said...

Alina - Yes the cheesy stuff is right. They even played "Hello" by Lionel Richie and I didn't complain.

Otowi - The orignal nikah party here was much smaller and more subdued (but still lovely). I understand what you mean about not wanting certain things, but at the same time, his family weren't at the original Nikah and I understood they wanted to celebrate the wedding in their way.

Lucky Fatima - Unfortunately, the pics didn't turn out well but I will email you one soon, insha Allah. It's true about the haterz, it's sadder for them then it is for me.

Twennytwo - Thank you for you kind wishes. Nice to see you here ;)

Ali - Will email you a pic soon too.
Western Music is pretty popular here, but mostly r'n'b and pop with the more commercial hip hop too.

kaleidomuslima - Thank you.
The young ones stood aside for that song, but there was plenty of shaking from them aside from that. For some reason the tradition is for the bride to dance for a few songs alone.

Maxxed Out - Wow, you still read my blog! Despite my slede down your blogroll, I still read yours too :)

Abu Sinan - It's true, Arab men often marry white women, although I can say my husband wasn't seeking the blue-eyed thing, as there are plenty of girls in his country with them, lol!

I think the idea is that, if the father is Arab the children will be the same, whereas if the father is is not then ..... stupid, really, but I'm sure you are all too familiar with this attitude.

Having discussed this with my husband, we would like our children to accept both their cultural and ethnic heritages, but understand that Islam comes before all of this.

It's interesting as some Muslims put their culture first, others believe there is no culture only Islam (only they tend to follow an arabized saliafi thing, although they don't see it like that).

What's your opinion on this?

sume said...

Sooo sorry I'm dragging in all late, sweety. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you.

Yup agree, ignore the haters. You question here wouldn't have anything to do with the one you left on my blog, would it?

Abu Sinan said...

I agree with you about the culture thing. Both of our children, Insha'Allah, will be familiar and comfortable in both cultures and speak both languages.

However, since we are Muslims, the deen is what is really important. Many people confuse the culture and the deen, we dont do this. Much of what is "Arab" culture has nothing to do with the deen.

By way, maybe you have mentioned it but I missed it, but where is your hubby from? You mentioned there are blond haired blue eyed women where he comes from. In the Arab world that usually means the Levant, ie Palestine, Syria, Jordan or Lebanon.

Safiya said...

Sume - Good to see you here! My question had more to with the challenges you face, with discovering/reclaiming your Vietnamese heritage and raising you children to be in touch with all their heritages, but maybe I didn't word it too well.

However, it's true that since getting married these issues hold more interest for me.

Abu Sinan - I agree the deen comes first.

Yes, my husband is from the Levant region. I won't say more then that, as I'm really wary of putting anything too identifying on here.

I've never actually stated where I'm from on here either, though it's probably pretty obvious to regular readers.