Monday, July 26, 2010

Rules of Engagement

Methods of courtship everywhere have changed over time, but something about the rite makes us pine for tradition. In Turkey, even the most progressive families stick to the old standard to some degree.

The söz kesme, or promise, is the first stage. The man’s family visits for coffee to request the hand of the bride. They bring flowers, usually roses, and a silver tray of chocolates or sweets. Traditionally the girl would serve the coffee. These days everybody has most likely met before and it's just an occasion for a pleasant social call with some friends and family. Some people combine this step with the engagement party.

An engagement ceremony is like a mini-wedding. Two bands, bound by a red ribbon, are placed on the right hand of the couple. The ribbon is cut by a witness and the man's family gives the bride some more gold jewelry, a necklace, bracelets, etc. Some gifts are given to the woman for her wardrobe. If the engagement is broken, the jewelry is usually returned. Sometimes a western influenced solitaire might be given.

A popular band for the woman is the interlocking promise ring (above). If the puzzle ring is removed, the bands fall apart, meaning the wearer has been unfaithful.

This is a clip of a ribbon cutting. Notice the blending of East and West. The girl wears a scarf, but gets a solitaire and the dress of the show host is less than traditional.:


LTM said...

beautiful! I love the tradition and the ring is gorgeous~

I wish we had more traditions like that here. :o)

Carolyn Abiad said...

We do miss a lot of traditional things here because in the past so many have tried to assimilate rather than preserve. But I think if we scratch around a little, we all must have something in out heritage that we can claim. We just need to look for it!


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