Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hykakan Harsanik

My host dad, Nver and Anna my host sister and the lovely bride.

Anna and her niece, Annie.

Anna and I, she is only 1 day younger than I.

Some of the lovely food art. I think none of it was eaten.

Anna and the spread.

Emma, my other host sister getting all gussied up. Like me, she is not super girly and had to have other people do her makeup.

The beautiful bride!

Anna and her brother, Vachik. I had never met him before as he is serving in the Army.

My two host sisters, Emma and Anna.

Anna and my tatik, Antitchka.

Gohar, my host mom and her daughter. Gohar is an amazing woman. The night before the wedding there was still a huge amount of work to get done to prepare for the wedding. She put off going to the barn to milk the cows and feed the pigs for several hours. Finally when she went to the barn, she didn't return for several hours. It turns out, 10 piglets were born that night and she had to help birth them. She then came back and cooked dinner for everyone.

The groom's family came over the hill dancing and singing with a band to take the bride to the church.

The duduk!

All the women gathered in a room to congratulate Anna and to open the basket the groom's family brought. In the basket there were gloves, shoes and candy. The bride threw the candy around the room and single women were supposed to take a piece and place it under their pillow that night. They would then dream of the man they were supposed to marry. This message, however was not relayed to me and I gladly ate my candy. I was given another piece later, chocolate, and I put it in my pocket where it was forgotten and melted. Guess I'm not getting married any time soon.

The men giving toasts. Note the camera man on the right. Apparently, the wedding video is one of the most important things. The cameraman would actually stop the ceremony to change his battery or to get a better angle. It was all I could do to keep him out of my shots. If I ever saw a videographer/photographer act like this at my wedding I would be mortified!

Vachik had to guard the door and not allow the bride and groom to pass until the groom paid him.

The sacrificial chicken.

The groom, Mhoy, Anna and Emma.

Also another important aspect of the wedding. Everyone in the wedding party and all the guests drive around town and honk like crazy.

The wedding party entering the church.

No one sat down for the service. It only took about 5 minutes and everyone was crowded around the couple to see what was happening. On Feb. 13th, it is a very popular day to get married, so there were couples coming and going from the church every few minutes.

The bride and groom.

The gratuitous candle shot.

I love this little girl!

The love doves.

Her dove took off for a second then landed and pooped on her head. I told her it was good luck.

My first host family :)

And now the fun starts!

Light a fire...

dance around it a few times....

and then JUMP over it!

Host mother and brother.

Then we dance, dance, danced the night away.

My tatik giving a toast.

Then they got the tatiks to dance.

I had a great time at the wedding, got several marraige proposals and a song dedicated just to me. It was in French, but hey, they tried!

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