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Thu 23 Mar 2017
The Wedding Part 3
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 23 December 2003 00:00

I am standing at the front of the wedding parade with my grandfather. We are about a hundred meters away from Tai’s house. (Really we should start from my house but it is too far!) All of my relatives are carrying things such as a banana tree, sugarcane tree, various kinds of food and the money for the sin sod (dowry). All of this will be offered to Tai’s parents.

We start to walk slowly to the house making a very loud noise. Some people are beating drums and others are dancing and singing something like “I am coming, I am here!” About half way to the bride’s house, we meet a married couple (Tai’s uncle and aunt). They are there to welcome the parade and lead us to the house.

My grandfather and I are now standing in front of the house. We can’t go in because there are two people holding a silver belt between them. There is only one way to get them to open the “gate” and that is to pay them some money. We give them an envelope of money each and then they let us pass through. However, after only a few steps there is another gate! The people on this gate are asking for two envelopes each! After paying them we then reach the final gate. This is the most expensive and my grandfather has to give them quite a few envelopes!

I am now sitting on the floor with my grandparents and parents. Our relations are bringing in the trays of food and sin sod and placing them on the floor. My grandfather asks Tai’s parents to check the food. There are two trays of everything in two rows on the floor. At the end of one row there is only one tray. It is traditional for the bride’s side to fill the space with a tray of food to make it equal.

It’s now time for the bride to come out but she doesn’t! Someone comes and tells me that Tai can’t come out because I haven’t unlocked the last gate. I quickly go to the door at the foot of the stairs with my grandfather. This “door” is really difficult to open and we have to use many envelopes to get it open!

It finally opens and I run up the stairs to fetch Tai. The two families are now sitting on the floor facing each other. My grandfather asks how much we have to pay for the dowry. Tai’s mum replies “40 thousand baht and four baht gold”. My grandfather then puts a large bundle on a tray and starts to unwrap it. Inside there are four piles of hundred baht banknotes, a gold bracelet and a necklace. He spreads the money out and invites Tai’s parents to take a look.

After they are happy that there are no fake banknotes, my grandfather passes them a small bowl of dried flowers. They grab a handful and sprinkle some on top of the money in a clockwise direction wishing us good luck for our marriage. Then, when they have both finished doing that, all of our married relations also take turns.

Finally they are finished and I pick up the cloth with all of the money in it and hand it to Tai’s mum. She takes it from me and then runs upstairs to put it away in a safe place. She makes it look like she is running away with the money and so everyone laughs!

A few minutes later she comes back and sits down on the floor next to Tai’s dad. I now offer them some gold, a bracelet and a necklace. Tai is sitting in front of me and waiting for me to put the gold around her neck and on her wrist. After I have done that, I take the ring out of my suit pocket and put it on the ring finger on her left hand.

Do you think that means I am finally married? Come back next week to find out!