Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dentist, Disastrous Traffic and a Double Wedding

All in a day's work in Khartoum...

Traffic in Khartoum

No, this is not the function we went to last night -I'll post about that over the weekend. On Tuesday I had an appointment with the dentist (I'm to have a root canal done next week - eek!) While we were waiting for my appointment at 8pm, the general manager, Issam phoned Grant and asked if he was ready to go to the wedding. Huh? Grant was so embarrassed.
He'd misunderstood Issam when he invited us to a family wedding...
Nevertheless the dentist could attend to me earlier and by 8pm we were in the middle of rush hour traffic driving across town. Issam was only leaving the apartment at about 9pm so he said he'd wait for us.
We made the normal hour-long trip in forty minutes, dashed upstairs, changed from denims and tee-shirts into something more formal and were in Issam's vehicle by five to nine!
The day outfit I bought at the souq on Monday, really came in handy for this impromptu occasion
We arrived at the open-air club where Issam's uncle was having a wedding reception for his son who'd married his college sweetheart and his daughter, who was marrying the man of her dreams. A double wedding!
The tables were filling up and Issam found us a place where we'd have a good view of the proceedings. No bridals parties were at the wedding yet. Earlier that day, both fathers attended mosque and witnessed the marriage of the couples. The couples were not allowed in the mosque. They were preparing for the reception later that night.
At 9.30 the first bridal couple (the son and his new wife) arrived in a car with horns blaring, guest and many onlookers in the street cheering with the older ladies ululating as is the African custom. Immediately the pair took the floor and had the first dance. Then they walked to a beautifully decorated diaz and sat side by side on thrones while the guests came up to congratulate them.
Grant and his first wife enjoy the wedding
Issam and Grant
Issam and Jo
After the first dance, the first couple walked towards the diaz

The couple is seated on the stage while guests congratulate them and offer their good wishes
The food, pre-packed in polystyrene foam containers and a bottle of soda per guest, was served before any of the bridal parties arrived.
The ladies' outfits were stunningly beautiful. I want to find someone to help me fold the hijab over my hair like this

A huge wedding crowd. I guaged there were about five hundred guests, which is a very big wedding by South African standards

The bridal gowns were beautiful

The bridegroom's friends lifted him into the air, and to the beat of the live band's music, tossed him up and down for ages!
Can you spy an expat face in the background?

The men dance in a bunch while the women form a circle around them. Then it's the ladies' turn. Never together but great fun is had by all!

I could not get near the second bridal couple when they arrived. (Issam's uncle's daughter and her husband) Her gown and headdress was also beautiful while the henna tattoos and acrylic nails enhanced her style. Here (above) she is cheering her husband (below) who is being tossed in the air!

The ladies' turn to dance. Old and young join in

The food packs were very interesting and quite sufficient. A hamburger bun, a boiled egg, two deep-fried chicken pieces, (I gave mine to Grant) a mini pizza, a falafel, feta cheese and some black olives. For dessert there was the traditional and utterly delicious Sudanese sweet called baklava. (Grant gave me his!) BTW does the food swapping give away how long we've been married? Ha!
A wedding is always a good opportunity to catch up on family news
I wondered if the hungry stray dogs of Khartoum would sniff out these delectable left-overs once the guests left the venue
I tried to get through the throng of young people around the two couples. I wanted a photo of the two brides dancing together. I almost managed it when someone lifted her arm in front of my camera!
At exactly 11pm, the band stopped playing, packed up and left. The guests began to say goodbye to each other and the newlywed couples and also left. It is law in the Sudan that you stop all noise at this time.


  1. I wish happy lifetime for new married couple.It must be very fantastic wedding.I learned Quran language and I can read little bit Arabic language,best wishes stay well.

  2. How interesting to see a wedding from a different culture. The customs are so interesting. You look very pretty too.

  3. What a heading Jo!! :) Love the wedding photographs, everything is so beautiful. I have been to Hindu weddings a couple of times and it was most interesting for me.

    Root canal? THAT I can definitely do without!! :)

  4. What a wonderful opportunity for you & Grant to attend a local wedding - it looks like a lovely time was had by all ! You looked lovely in your 'traditional' outfit, Jo .... I also so enjoyed your shopping trip for clothing, shoes etc in your previous post (just LOVE those shoes you bought, too !)

  5. Hi Ilhami;) you can READ Arabic. That's wonderful. Thanks for your comment.

    Hi diane;) It was very interesting. Thanks for your kind comment!

    Ha Joan, it was such a hectic dash across town Traffic here is so dense but NO road rage. It's amazing. Mmm, even I'm a bit apprehensive about my RC. Ergh...

    Hi Lynda;) thanks for your kind comments on my outfit. And I KNEW you'd love the shoes. I wore them with this outfit and again on Wednesday for the more formal date. (((Hugs))) Jo

  6. Hi Jo,
    You look lovely in your new outfit. What a wonderful wedding celebration and so interesting to see. Thanks for sharing.
    Sunny :)

  7. What interesting weddings. Someday these newly weds will also be swapping food like you who have been happily married so long.
    Bummer about the dental thing coming up.

  8. Jo, what an experience!! ♥♥♥ your triple D heading. If rushing hour is at 8pm, what is the shopping times?

    Nou slaan ek oor Afrikaans toe sodat ek nie hoef te dink wat ek skryf nie! Jou stukkie van vandag is SO interessant geskryf en dit lees heerlik - jy het tonne talent! As jy ooit 'n 'sidebar' maak met jou 'favourite posts', moet dit beslis ook daar kom!!! Baie sterkte ook met jou tand - eina :[ (((Liefde)))

  9. This is a very interesting and colorful wedding! There are many similarities to American weddings and, of course many differences. I love the meal in the styrofoam packaging--ver practical! It was also interesting to see the groom being tossed up and down! Maybe to symbolize the future ups and downs of marriage?

    You look beautiful in your new dress!

  10. Aw thanks Sunny;)

    Hi Gaelyn;) yes, 40 years down the line, perhaps they will be...Good to see you again

    Hi Ida, shops are open until 10-11pm and many are 24/7. Dankie skat. Ek geniet dit so om hieroor te skryf... Liefjou. (mmm, die tand storie gee my nogal nagmerries.)

    Hi Pat, these two weddings were Western style. I think it gives the young 'uns a bit more freedom (such as the bridal couple dancing - that is a no-no in a traditional wedding.) Ha! Clever deduction with the tossing of the bridegroom: I never thought about the ups-and-downs or married life. hoo-boy!

  11. Jo, what a wonderful time you must have had! Sorry about the tooth... Nice shots of the wedding. It was a treat. Blessings be on the two couples! Long life and happiness.

  12. Thanks Mike, it was a lovely occasion.

  13. What a fun time! Your outfit looked great. The brides were beautiful. That was so interesting.

  14. Lucky lucky you to get to attend such a wedding/ mass wedding. You looked lovely and so did the bride such fun and games at the wedding, cultural differences must have made it all exciting.

  15. Thanks for popping in Dedene;) and your kind comments.

    Hi Glennis;) yes, it makes it very interesting to see the different way things are done here in the Sudan.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo