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Thu 30 Mar 2017
The Thai Wedding - Part 4
Written by Panrit "Gor" Daoruang   
Wednesday, 31 December 2003 01:53

Tai and I are now sitting together and her parents are facing us. We bend down to the floor and pay respect to them before we give them the phaa wai clothes. Then we bend down to them one more time. After that, we put our right hands on a pillow in front of us and let them tie a piece of string around our wrists. This is a sign of being accepted into their family.

This is then repeated with all of our relations until both of our wrists are full with white string! It’s kind of boring doing the same thing really but at least we get something out of it. Before each relation can tie the string around our wrists they have to first put some money into a bowl! They do this to help us get started in our married life.

We are now outside the house. There are many more people now compared to earlier and we are again walking around and greeting the guests. Most of them are now sitting down eating. Really, most of them don’t take part in the first part of the ceremony. They are only here for the blessing ceremony, which is next, and of course the food!

My brother is coming up to me and tells us to go into the house. We excuse ourselves and follow him inside to settle ourselves down for the final part of the ceremony. We are now sitting next to each other with a special set of tables in front of us. There is a pillow on each table and also a smaller table with a bowl of roses. They were preparing this while we were outside!

My grandfather is standing in front of us and puts a garland around our necks. He then reaches inside his shirt pocket and takes out some white string (sai sin). Each end of the string has been tied into a big loop. He now puts the loops on our heads. Thai people believe that it is a symbol of being together. It’s like we are now tied to each other. After that he then uses some white powder to mark three spots on our forehead.

He is now holding a small conch full of water. We stretch our hands out. Our elbows are resting on a pillow and our hands are above a small bowl. He pours some water from the conch onto my hands. At the same time he wishes me good luck and gives me some tips about married life! Then he steps aside and does the same thing to Tai.

After he has finished, he picks up a small souvenir and everyone else queues up to take their turn to bless us with water. We smile and listen to all of the advice that is given to us! The only people that don’t come in are my old school friends. They are outside eating and chatting. I didn’t know before but teenagers are not allowed to join this part of the ceremony.

The final guest has finished at last. Now it’s time for us to go outside and join the party! My stomach is rumbling, as I haven’t eaten anything since early this morning. But I can’t sit down to eat and chat with my friends, as we have to go around and meet all the guests at each table. My face muscles are starting to hurt as I have been smiling at people for so long now!

Four hours later the party is over and all of the guests have gone back home. Tai and I go up to the bedroom to lie down. We are talking about today. Even though we are exhausted we still feel really happy about everything. I am glad that everything was done in the traditional way. I then suddenly remember about the last part of the ceremony in the bedroom! Didn’t my grandmother say they would come up here? I quickly glance around but don’t see anyone hiding. To be safe I get up to lock the door!