Flashback: Saloth’s Wedding
As I’m quickly approaching my one year anniversary, I’ve been thinking a lot about this past year of living in Cambodia. With the close of the Water Festival, I’ve now experienced all the major holidays in the year (Khmer New Year, P’chum Ben & Water Festival). I’ve been to two traditional weddings. It has been an amazing year full of growth, learning and adventure. I thought it might be nice to look back at some of my favorite moments.
First up on our trip down memory lane: the beautiful wedding of Saloth & Dane. Saloth was my colleague at the NGO I originally worked at in Siem Reap. She graciously invited me to attend any & all of the ceremonies during her 3-day wedding. It was magnificent.
The first day of the wedding ceremonies, which included blessings from the monks, a cleansing ceremony, dinner and dancing. On the right, you’ll see me standing with the beautiful bride in one of her many outfits. On the left, the beautiful couple and shots of my co-workers.
Joellen and I participating in the cleaning ceremony. Friends and family symbolically cut the hair of the bride & groom and perfume them so that they may enter into marriage cleansed of any misfortune.
Pierre and I woke up bright and early on the second day to participate in the groom’s processional. Everyone gathered at the groom’s guesthouse (since his actual house is in Phnom Penh, too far a distance to walk!) where we picked up gifts for the bride’s family. After everyone was gathered and in line, musicians led us to Saloth’s house where we deposited our gifts. Saloth’s sister received us, then after the gifts were counted and deemed satisfactory (tradition!) we were invited to breakfast.
The evening reception, a dinner with hundreds of people. Saloth in her “barang” white wedding dress (the last of 7 outfits!). Close-ups of Saloth’s accessories & a photo of the bride with Elizabeth and I.
We ate. We danced. We laughed.
Two days of celebrating, delicious food and loads of pretty dresses. I’m slightly obsessed with the anklets worn by the bride and her attendants. Oh, and the hair! The bouffants! I want to get my hair done by a Khmer hair dresser the next time I go to a wedding.