Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Omani Wedding in 2014

I have been noticing one wedding trend of late. Omani girls I know who could afford to have giant, extravagant hotel ballroom or tented weddings, are opting for a smaller, more intimate  affair, held over several days in the home of one of their relatives. The decoration is not the usual stage, but a chair for the bride and some beautiful but homely backdrop. There is a night for her friends, another for close relatives, another for other relatives, and that's that. Examples of what these house weddings usually look like (although most of these wedding photos are examples of Indonesian and Malaysian home weddings as no one I know personally allowed photographs to be taken during their home wedding):
In case you have never atteneded an Omani white hotel wedding, they look more like this, with a kosha chair or couch for the bride to sit on (later joined by the groom when the night is almost done and they leave together) attended by women-only who sit at tables or on couches lining the aisle leading up to the stage with the kosha:
At both kinds of wedding, the rule for the guests remains the same, dress up as much as possible, but at least, the house wedding feels like one has the excuse to be more relaxed if one wishes to be, less pressure, for maybe not all your friends can afford a new evening gown but maybe a little shift dress would be fine, an no trip to the salon for professional hair and makeup for the home wedding, where to appear so is almost matronly, in the ballroom...
Just thought the new trend was interesting to myself. From an anthropological perspective, I assume the more affluent girls are wider travelled, and have experienced, say, the culture in UK for weddings, and preferred some of the customs there over those more prevalent in their families usually. Ironically, of course, the home wedding was always more traditional Omani in village life anyways.... but....  Anyways, I am not an anthropologist and I was never a bride who threw a wedding feast/party at all, so what do I know? {Photos taken from various sources, and are from Oman, Saudi, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates}

Sunday, March 16, 2014

DAILY DIARY: over the weekend, beach life in Muscat then, same as now

Over the weekend, despite the wind and the sand that swept and buried our picnic blanket, we spent the morning at one quiet strip of beach in Muscat, sipping lemonade, eating sandwiches, and being chased by waves. We ate a bit of sand, swallowed a bit of surf, and are still cleaning sand out of the apartment which followed us home, dusting our eyelashes and our clothes.

But there is really no better way to relax. The wind kept everything cool, and it {the weather} is really heating up outside. Summer has arrived, so a bit of wind and flying sand is okay by me, so long it stays outside and keeps us from being too hot to enjoy the sea and the sunshine.
After my daughter had a little too much of the ocean (or to suffice it to say, it had a little too much of her) we went for a walk in our quiet little neighboorhood, admiring other people's gardens. I just killed my kitchen counter top herb garden of basil and oregaono again, so who knows when a garden will ever be a practical time diversion for me?
Admiring others' always takes such little effort, and nothing reminds me of Muscat more than the white walls of villas with pink bougainvilla overflowing, and palm trees swaying between rays of the sun. "Nothing more than milkshakes, and PDO club beach, and vegetable spring rolls?" My little sister would ask me, for that is Muscat and Oman forever for her.
No, nothing. Just me and my camera, walking down quiet neighborhoods, seeing the cats (which my daughter enjoys) and pink bougainvilla, after a morning of walking alongside a long stretch of aquamarine surf. Later we go home, drink too much cold water too fast, fall in lazy daydreaming daze, and nap rather early. 
I never knew how to describe the surrealness of summers to my friends from back home, in the land far and away, when I went back to the reality of another existence there. You can say it, spell it out like a list: "sunshine that makes you lazy, pink bougainvilla, speckled cats with pointed ears and mysterious eyes" but you can't make them see it the same as you, espcially those who have never travelled. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014