Monday, August 06, 2007

A wedding in Paracho part 2

Yesterday was awesome.

Not only did I get to see and participate in the lead up to the wedding, but our whole travel group ended up attending the wedding in the Cathedral and then heading on down to the reception.

The wedding seemed fairly similar to a wedding at home, except that the bride entered the church first, followed by the groom, then followed by the guests. There was music as the bride walked into the Cathedral doors, but then they stopped once she was inside.

During the ceremony a two looped rope is placed over both the Bride and Groom, one in each loop, and the brides veil is tucked into the back of the grooms collar during the exchanging of vow's (at least that's what I assume they were doing, no one was translating).

Fortunately I caught the eye of the guy that was looking after me in the morning through a series of pointing and gestures and he came over to say hello. I motioned him for introductions to Vinni, Holly, Bags and Lize and he pretty soon had struck up a conversation with Bags.

He insisted that we attend the reception, even though we were travelers, looking light travelers, smelling like travelers, and speaking about as much spanish as your average traveler.

It turns out that the guy, Christian, is actually the Grooms brother and after being invited by him, the father, and the God Father (who was the gentleman that I was speaking with in the morning) we felt a little bit better about crashing the wedding.

On the way Christian took us to his Uncle's guitar shop to show us a bit of Mexican tradition.

Oh, and before I continue you should know that no one was speaking english at this time, and Bags did all the listening talking and translating.

We checked out the shop with wood shavings covering the floor, guitar carving tools covering the walls and spider webs covering the ceilings.

They explained that all of these guitars were hand made by the family, and that it had been a tradition through the generations.

There were only a couple of half completed guitars, but we were shown every aspect of the guitars and learnt about the different woods used, how long it takes and what goes in to the making of the guitar. If I can get my act together and learn some more spanish I'm going to come back to this shop and learn to make a guitar. It'll take a little over a month, but that would be a great experience.

We left the workshop and headed for the reception.

800 people were invited to the reception, all related.

Wait and minute. 805 people were invited to the reception, all of them related except for 4 aussies and a brit.

Christian showed us to a table with some other family sitting down. We quickly exchanged names, poured tequila, and began the festivities. We were able to communicate enough to ask each others names, how we were, where we were from, and whether someone wanted another drink (which involved raising the tequila bottle and you're eyebrow in a questioning motion all at once).

Pretty soon we were well fed with Mexican food and tequila and were joining in with the dancing in front of the band (the band looked like something out of the wedding singer....... the band which had john lovitz).

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, starred at us for the first 2 hours before they started to say hello and actually drag us into dances and conga lines. Actually, when we started the conga line all I could think of was

"you don't make friends with salad, you don't make friends with salad"

Part of the festivities was strange but really really fun.

The bride and groom sit upon two chairs, which are held up by tables, and some of the family (usually brothers/sisters and friends) stand around the bottom to keep them up there. The both hold onto the same long piece of lace (kind of like the wedding trail) while the rest of the guys get together in a line. The line is lead by the Grooms brother (or best man) and each following guy in the line grabs onto the back of belt of the guy in front of them (the girls hold hand when they do it, but this is NEEDED for the guys).

The best man basically takes off running at full speed, along with the rest of the guys, and runs between the arch made by the chairs and lace train. The idea is to hit the guys protecting the groom and make him fall the 2 meters to the ground. You can't actually run straight into them, but you bump them as you run past.

I was dressed in my best wedding gear, thongs with holes, shorts with a draw string (yes the draw string is important) and dirty 3 wear old shirt.

Anyway, at turn one i realised why you grabbed onto the belt, it's because you'd fly into the surrounding tables without it. Of course, if you were grabbing on to something other then pants with belt, like for instance shorts with drawstring, the chances are that at turn number two the draw string would snap and that person would start to lose their shorts.

So it was game over for me.

Luckily I had enough to re-tie it back up and not keep losing my pants, but it was touch and go for a while.

The rest of the night was filled with more tequila and some more dancing, before the wedding finished at 8pm and we went back to the hotel.

Christian came back to get us and showed us around the town a little more, he's been an absolute champion to us.


Kate said...

Justin.. that sounds like such a wonderful and special pocket of memories! Wow! Treasure it.. xx Kate B.

Birdman said...

Thanks Kate, it was one of the coolest days that I've ever had and provides a perfect example of how friendly and welcoming the people are in Mexico.

I mean, who would ever have done something like this in Australia?