Last night we went over to Luxor as we were invited by our Brother-in-law to his cousin’s engagement party. They live behind Luxor temple, down a side street near where he has his Bazaar. During the day these side streets are dusty, noisy and busy with the comings and goings of people in their everyday lives.
But when we arrived at the ‘party’ the street had been transformed. Strings of brightly coloured lights festooned the road. A dais had been set up for the Couple to be ‘seen’ and celebrated. Paper confetti littered the streets adding to the colour. Rows of chairs were set up with an area for the women and children to sit, chat and dance. The men sat in another street on benches set up for them. Coke, Sprite and Fanta were freely handed out. The DJ played all the wedding dance songs, very loudly!!! A large bowl of incense was also burned, filling the area with fragrant smoke.
The couple were about an hour and a half late however as the fuel shortages mean that people are struggling to get petrol to fill their cars. Many people are taking hours just trying to find petrol and prices have doubled on public transport. But people are very patient and they knew they would arrive eventually!!!
Which of course they did. The music became louder and the couple took centre stage, literally. They took their positions on the seat and everyone cheered and clapped in celebration. Everyone got up to take photos of the couple on their throne. The man who was getting married looked so happy. His bride-to-be looked a little shell shocked. She had spent hours at the hairdressers getting her hair and make-up done and then getting into her dress. She was probably exhausted!!! Then the husband-to-be was dragged down to dance with the other men. I watched the body-language of the couple to see how they were dealing emotionally with this shift in status. She was very quiet and didn’t seem to be terribly impressed. He, on the other hand, was extremely happy! The children then did their belly-dance routines, all picked up from the belly-dancing channels on TV! The Jury is still out as to the ethics of Muslim men watching women belly-dance while their own wives and daughters cannot go out without a veil!
At one point a dancing horse appeared but it was a big horse in a little space with loud music, lots of noise and lots of people. Not the smartest move! So after a few minutes bustling and dancing the horse was brought by its rider to a safer place. But before it was whisked away salt was thrown over it to protect it from ‘bad eyes’. Bad eyes are usually people’s negative emotions of envy and jealousy etc! Happens a lot here!!! Not sure that salt is the answer though!!!!
After watching all the men dance together and giving the happy fiancé the bumps we managed to sneak away before being nabbed by the rest of the family! There is only so much coke one can drink!!!