Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yemeni's celebration

Akram took Hani and me to see the Rock Palace the Palace built for the Imam Yahya which I will share soon. But the highlight of my day was our stopping to see wedding celebrations on our way out of the city. Men and women celebrate the wedding day, all day, but separately. Men and boys celebrate outside with dancing, eating, chewing, music and lots of traditional dress and customs. The women are doing likewise, all together but in a home with family and friends.

Dancing is a way to pass along traditions and this drummer was beating with thin sticks and at a pace and rhythm I have never heard.
These are two grooms...they celebrate often together because of expense but also because this is a huge country of millions but, yet very small and closed. The grooms wear flowers and out of the hundreds of men, this is how you can tell who is who. These boys are about 17 and getting married!

Everything is traditional, the colors, their swords which no one else carries and notice their Jumbaya? (sp) that they carry at their waists are decorated while the young man to the right's is not.

And the elders, note the man in the red headdress, shows the younger how to do the wedding dances. This is a circle dance and the man to the left, leaning forward is about 20 and was slowly following the steps of the old man.
Interestingly, there was not another woman in sight so I was being very concerned about not being too obvious (look at them and then, think, Teresa) and they waived me in and gestured for me to join the circle dance which just isn't done. This is a warm and welcoming people.
The drum closest to you is a traditional drum made out of goat skin. For some reason, the photo of the young man carrying a rifle is not uploading but as we approached, firecrackers and guns were shot off...not in response to our arrival but to signal the start of the dancing.
Tomorrow, I will go with three of the female trainees to see how women celebrate this occasion. This day, so far, has been another gift from Akram, who, while with us, was missing being with his family.

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