Monday, January 08, 2007

A Sudanese Wedding in Cairo

A Sudanese Wedding
On Wednesday night I went with a friend to her cousin wedding. It was at the Grand Hyatt (VERY nice! Views of the Nile from the ceiling to floor windows and fairy lights everywhere). The couple are Sudanese so I was interested to see how this would be different from an Egyptian wedding. What they did was a mix of the two. There was still the Zeffa- with drummers and singers walking the couple through the foyer into the room- but they were singing and playing Sudanese rhythms rather than Egyptian- and the Zaghareets were more African screams than the usual Egyptian tounge waggling. The outfit was amazing- lots of beautiful woman in beautiful dresses and also some in the traditional dresses which have huge lengths of brightly coloured material wrapped around themselves. The bride worn an Italian cream coloured dress and was stunning. After the first dance- and the bride dancing with her father etc, there was the sherbit (sickly sugary drink to toast the bride and groom) It was a completely dry wedding- ie no alcohol. Then there was a bit of dancing with a mix of music- r&b into Egyptian. I escaped at the Egyptian part because I knew I wouldn't be able to resist dancing and want to save it for the performance. After the cutting of the cake… and the buffet being served I danced. It was a gift from me to the couple… ie not paid work… but I did wear a costume and did a 20min set. It went down very well and I got lots of compliments and photos taken (I'll attach them once I receive them!!!) then the bride and groom left and ther was an Egyptian singer performed (didn’t catch his name- just sang to a backing track) then 2 of the brides family sang solos- FABULOUS voices…. It was lovely to see talent being appreciated and given as a gift to the wedding couple. A nice idea. Then a Sudanese band played. They were ok to start with – nice backing music- but not lively enough to dance to – at that point. For the next half hour- 45mins the bride and groom had vanished to get changed into the traditional central Sudanese outfits for a wedding. I couldn't understand what could take so long in what was essentially a costume change- BUT them they appeared. WOW. She just looked like an Indian princess- with the gold headdress and chain that attached to her nose… huge gold earrings… and stunning lengths of red and gold material wrapped around. Her attitude and dance matched her dress- elegant and sophisticated- but 100% a woman, and not to be messed with! Inspiring! They had all the customs- incence… and strings of bead put over their heads etc etc- all of which it was hard to ee because of the crowds gathering round them… and since I don't know any of the custom or why these things are done- I'll save that for another blog, another day!. However- the night ended with lots of Sudanese music and dance (which is largely shoulder bouncing and shimmying- but often in a fantastic bent over position where you show off how long and strong your back is!!! A wonderful night!!!


Anonymous said...

That sounds like an amazing event! Now I'm all curious about wedding traditions from Sudan.

Lorna (aka BellyLorna!) said...

It was........... and I too am interested enough to try to find out more too- will be sure to write whatever I find out up in my blog!!!