Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First weekend in Peresecina!

So on Friday after the swearing-in, my partner explains that on Sunday my host mom and I will be attending a wedding with her! I was super excited to be able to really see some of these traditions first hand. We did not attend the religious ceremony or the civil procedures; we went straight for the party (which is typical in Moldovan culture). We arrived and the bride and groom were standing under a terrace of fake flowers in a large hall (which looks like its used for other fun and formal events, I think it is normally a restaurant). They were greeted with presents, handshakes, cheek kisses and guests filled the fishbowl on the table with money. The bride had her hair in a romantic low ponytail with many curls and small bobby pins with gems stuck here and there to hold her layers and she was wearing a soft gray tulip dress and black heels. The groom wore a short sleeve light purple/gray dress shirt and dark gray slacks, which I felt was a little dressed down for the event but I think they had changed from the earlier ceremonies. We then sat down to eat… and boy was there a lot! 2 bottles of cognac, champagne and wine at every table, fish, bread, pork, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken, more pork, eggplant wrapped with tomatoes, the spread was incredible and in the center were tiered plates with fruits, cookies and chocolates… yum! I even ate the fish and fish eggs on buttered bread (even though our medical officer warns us not to eat an of these things). As I sat there enjoying the meal, the women at my table burst out in perfect four-part harmony singing a folkloric music. I hadn’t realized that I was sitting with the village choir! It was incredible. After two or three songs the bride and groom came over and toasted my table for their music and we all took another shot of cognac. At this point I began sucking down water because of the heat and because of the awful flavor of cognac in my mouth and slowly burning down my throat and in my stomach. Three of the women at my table taught at the music school, which was really cool and began asking me if I played anything. Trying to explain a French horn in Romanian is harder than you think… trumpet, piano and voice were a lot easier. They then asked me when I was going to start an English club, which was prompted by a very drunk lady (a relative or godmother to the bride I believe) swaggering over to our table and saying to me “Hello. My name is Ana. How are you? I am fine. Thank you. Goodbye.” all in one slurred, yet rapid sentence. I tried to respond but she promptly walked away, only to return later on the dance floor and say the same exact sentence. I then met the Spanish teacher at the school who is adorable and speaks with a Barcelona accent. I offered to possibly start a Spanish-speaking club or to come talk about Mexican culture and she was thrilled. After this we all danced the hora. The music came from a DJ who was set up in the corner, with his electric piano, guitar, sound system and cd player. He came complete with a cheesy blue shirt with clouds on it. It was great. We continued to dance the hora and then a chair arrived on the scene in the center of the circle. The lady who was speaking English to me earlier in the day was forced to sit, handed a bottle of champagne and tossed up and down several times to the beat of a song the DJ was blaring. It was great! Something right out of a move (e.g. My Big Fat Greek Wedding?). We then continued dancing the hora and this older man really was digging the music, broke the circle, grabbed one of the music teachers and started twirling her around the inside of our hora with such finesse and regality as a professional. He at one point grabbed my arm to dance but my host mom and partner yelled at him and told him not to pester me. I just started laughing. This party was incredible and a great way to meet a lot of people from my new community. I am so happy that I was able to jump right in and start making new friends and show off my skills at the hora in my first weekend at site!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like Moldovans know how to celebrate. Your blog is fun to read! Hope you are well :)