Azerbaijani Wedding (Part 2)

Baku Travel Blog

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    Today, I dropped off the CDs of the wedding to my friend who was the one who set up the job for me.  I met this guy through teaching English classes at Azertaq, the Azeri government's news agency.  Today was a class day and it gave me the chance to ask my students about some of the traditions I saw at the wedding and their cultural significance.
    The red rope that is passed over the bride and afixed to her waist is to symbolize her purity or in essence her virginity.  If a woman has already been married before, she does get the red rope.  It is kind of interesting reading the Koran as it does note the importance of women getting remarried and how they should choose their husband if they are getting remarried.  Oftentimes, women in the villages outside of Baku are left with the husband their parents choose for them. The red ribbon cut over the bride's head is to further signify the purity and the innocence of the bride.  The small candle that is lit in front of the bride is to signify the longing of love which when put out is to signify that she will never search for love again as she now has a husband.
    It is kind of interesting thinking about how the bride here in Baku was vastly different in her mannerisms than the brides of the weddings I went to Naxcivan.  Here, the bride seemed so happy and her smile never seemed to leave her face.  She was dancing and talking with almost everyone in the party.  In Naxcivan, a region much more conservative and steeped in more traditional Islam, the brides seemed almost mad.  They rarely danced and did not socialize too much with other people aside from her family and husband.  As it was explained to me in Naxcivan, the brides often looked at their wedding day as the day they lose their purity.  While they may desire for marriage, at the same time the lost of purity made them sad as purity is very important.
IceTea says:
I think... if u live a life in a world with so many boundaries, if you have to suppress desires, answer expectations, be aware of ur actions and try to be pure... somehow yea I can understand why a woman would be sad to loose her "purity". It must feel like loosing an old friend, something that has always been there and that u defended for so long.
Posted on: Apr 09, 2008
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photo by: RJawad