Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Kazakh-American Wedding -- Part 1
Wedding Reception, Sunday, 10 October 2010
In August, our school's "registrar" (like a secretary) announced that she was getting married. To an American. In October. And MOVING TO HAWAII.
So it's safe to say that most of the school is jealous.
My assistant, however, had a different reaction than me. "Hawaii?!" she said. "It's dangerous!" And she was being serious. Hawaii has volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis...
The wedding was at a small Christian church (she had converted to Christianity), but I missed it because I was sick. The next week was the reception.
I, like many others, did not bring any dresses to Kazakhstan. Last year, luckily, Sophia had had a nice dress, which she wore for many occasions, but she's outgrown it. So we raced to find us fancy dresses. There's no shortage of neat dresses around here, but it's difficult to find anything for cheap!
Sophia picked out her dress, it's two pieces and fits her well. It's pink, the skirt is long and flowing, very much has a princess feel to it. The material is more summer-y than winter-y, but she shall wear it for Christmas anyways! I found a long-sleeved white shirt in a nice material that looks good underneath it, so she can stay warm.
I found a tan-colored dress that I can't describe really well, but it fit me well, and looked very nice and had sleeves just past my elbows, so it should work for Christmas and other occasions as needed.
We found the restaurant easily on a map, but before we could go there, we had to trek to the school (okay, only a 10-minute trek, but out of the way!) where we'd unfortunately left our dress shoes. Then back to the bus stop, where we waited for 20 minutes in unbearable heat! Sophia and I each have 2 styles of coats--light spring jackets and warm winter coats. So we had on our warm winter coats and were burning! Sophia wouldn't take hers off or even unzip hers, because she wasn't wearing her long skirt--just her fancy top and short shorts over tights.
Some teenagers who spoke English started talking to us, everyone always seems eager to try their English with us. They said that their high school would be celebrating Halloween, they were very excited for that.
Then we got on the bus and went to the reception.
The bride was standing outside the restaurant, talking to relatives, in a gorgeous wedding dress. The dress was American-style, but the tall white hat was Kazakh.
We went inside, and quickly to the bathroom to put Sophia's skirt on, and then checked our coats. There was a downstairs and an upstairs, so up we went and found seats at a table. We were next to the kids' table, but Sophia preferred to sit with me.
We sat at a table with two other American teachers from our school (a couple with two kids), the librarian/French teacher and her American Embassy husband (fascinating couple!), a French woman whose kids attend the school, the Russian art teacher, and the Kazakh accountant.