I was in Paris at the office yesterday and enjoying a post-prandial café with a few colleagues. We had been in the canteen discussing different nationalities' wedding traditions and, given the mixed diversity of our group, this was a long conversation to continue.
One colleague had a ceremony in Tanzania to her African husband and explained the gift giving tradition there, where the gifts are given (unwrapped) to the bride and groom who stand in the middle of a circle with an empty suitcase to fill. Not sure how many toasters you can fit in.
Another colleague, with Croatian parents, explained the village tradition that the bride and groom hold separate parties in their houses as they each prepare for the ceremony, the groom then walks to the bride's house, his party following, to ask the bride's father for permission to take her to the church and they all leave together, walking as one group. Following the ceremony the wedding party walk back through the village, who have all come out to the streets, and the bride and groom receive a glass of the home grown wine as they pass each house. Either you're hardened to the drinking by that age, or you do a good impression of a sozzled bride, we decided.
My Dutch colleague shared the tales of his wedding, making us laugh by confessing to having had orange themed invitations and decor. Only the Dutch...
And then my Iranian friend talked about food at her country's weddings. She speaks fluent English, Persian and Dutch and often injects French vocabulary into our mostly English conversations. She was explaining the traditional dishes served which include several moutons. The moutons are cooked, she explained. And then they all stand on the long table. The moutons that is. When she looked at my face, I was in the middle of processing the image of how to stand a cooked sheep up (I've been to a mechoui and the logistics seemed interesting).
Me: Errr... Okay...
Her: Oh no... don't worry, we peel the moutons first
Her: The sheep. We peel the sheep first.
Now, I have to go and ask Frog if was can have peeled sheep too...