Sunday, February 19, 2017

OMANI WEDDINGS: the melka day

Above is a photo of an Omani bride on what I assume is her melka (wedding contract signing) day. It is the actual "Islamic" or legal part of a Muslim or Omani wedding, but the "walimah" party for handing the bride over to the groom is usually the more celebrated by Omanis, and is the part of wedding services expats in Oman are more frequently invited to attend.

Below is a photo of the Omani groom.
On this day (or sometimes---more commonly these days---the occasion is celebrated on another additional day beforehand) the bride receives her dowry gold.
In terms of what to wear for these, in Oman I have been to both mixed and segregated melkas. I usually wear a super dressy abaya with a headscarf to be safe anyways, unless I know for sure women are separate, and then a dressy caftan or something similar is likewise a safe choice.

About gifts, if I know the bride, this is the best time to give her a gift. The walimah party is too hectic and impersonal to manage usually. If we are super close, that's the only time I give a gift, because otherwise I end up with people buying me dishes sets or chocolate trays when they visit me.

For photographs, as most of my friends (and if not them, then their husbands or families) object to having their photo taken, I find, if you ask, sometimes detail shots, like hands and feet are okay (and the room if decorated for sure is) to photograph. Also, maybe the bride can pose with an object blocking her face if culture says she shouldn't be photographed. Ask first, because some brides are okay either way, or are not okay no matter what.
 The whole point of the melka is to sign the marriage contract (pictured above).

The bride may wear Omani traditional dress, or another formal kind of dress (I've seen Omani brides choose Indian saris with hijabs, or sleeved coloured designer gowns like Eli Saab and Valentino with headscarves, but Omani dress is still more common).

At all the melkas I have been to there's rice and meat and snacks like sambusas afterwards, but not to the extent of the walimah buffet-type dinners in halls.

At that's about it. All photos by Abudisphotography taken from the Instagram account: [ https://www.instagram.com/abudisphotography/ ].

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