<P>Wedding in a western way and Russian soul By Katya Fedorova, Russia. A wedding in Russia is like Armageddon: it has everything – a palette of emotions, colours, music, distant relatives who never met each other before that moment, expensive gifts and tables full of food. Russians put their hearts and souls into a wedding, as though its their last day on earth. Weddings in Russia are generally more important and magnificent than birth- days or New Year celebrations. They are special occasions and are remembered for years and years. Russian weddings are celebrated as a triumph of new family. In Russian culture, there is nothing particularly special about the engagement; the couple simply get engaged and notify their friends and family. In the past, there was a unique tradition called "Smotriniy" - when the parents of the couple represented their own children to the extended family in little theatrical perfor- mances. This tradition had its roots in the Middle Ages, when the elders of the family always had to have the last word regarding whether the marriage could take place or not. The parents of each side tried to impress the elders with a presentation ceremony, or to win them over with presents. Today in Russia, the western way of engagement is gaining popu- larity. Men usually offer a ring featuring a bril- liant or precious stone set into a hand and heart, and the proposal is usually very simple: "Please become my wife". But, if the parents of the couple are very religious, the engagement may involve a mandatory engagement dinner that includes kissing the knees of selected saints to get Gods blessing for the young family. Wedding celebrations often begin with "Buyout" - a glorious tradition where the groom must pass incredible tests to prove his love. Witnesses (honoured friends of the bride) and bridesmaids host themed contests where the groom must demonstrate his strength, intelligence, agility and humour to show every- one that he is worthy of the hand of the bride. Otherwise, for each lost contest, he has to pay a set amount of roubles (determined by the bridesmaids). Many Russians lives in big apart- ment buildings so the neighbours will usually join in with the fun, or else receive a headache because of noise coming from the celebra- tions! The official registration takes place on the same day as the wedding celebration. The group of friends and family members goes to the registry office, where the couple receive the official status of husband and wife. The couple exchange rings and seal their union with a kiss. Romance mixed with law always looks a little unusual so, in recent times, cou- ples have started to move the official part of the marriage outside the walls of the registry office - for example, to a bus station or airport. The whole family then moves to the next cele- bration stop, such as a restaurant, family home or a reserved hotel. Western traditions have also become very popular, and many weddings are now held outdoors with a flower arch or altar and red carpet providing a picturesque setting. A registry office employee holds a cere- mony and allows the couple to exchange rings, and to say their vows accompanied by their chosen music. Usually, however, people choose the traditional way of marrying in the registry office then travelling to the next celebration venue by rented limousine. The traditions of laying flowers to the eternal flame at memorial monuments, or hanging "locks of love" to the city bridge railing or taking part in a "buyout" contest are not important, but when else would your guests be allowed to open cham- pagne bottles outdoors while being beeped approval by passing cars? In other respects, Russian weddings are not so different from any others - music, dances, laughter and wedding pledges all feature. Of course, only at Russian weddings will you see parents who greet the young couple with a round loaf (in tradition, the person who takes the biggest bite will rule in the new family) and only in Russia will you hear the sound of breaking wine glasses (as the Russians say, "for happiness"). </p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/3/3/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/4/4/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/5/5/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/6/6/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/7/7/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/8/8/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/9/9/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/10/10/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/11/11/">Page-11</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/12/12/">Page-12</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/13/13/">Page-13</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/14/14/">Page-14</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/15/15/">Page-15</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/16/16/">Page-16</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/17/17/">Page-17</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/18/18/">Page-18</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/19/19/">Page-19</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/20/20/">Page-20</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/21/21/">Page-21</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/22/22/">Page-22</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/23/23/">Page-23</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/24/24/">Page-24</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/25/25/">Page-25</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/26/26/">Page-26</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/27/27/">Page-27</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/28/28/">Page-28</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/29/29/">Page-29</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/30/30/">Page-30</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/31/31/">Page-31</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/32/32/">Page-32</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/33/33/">Page-33</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/34/34/">Page-34</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/35/35/">Page-35</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/36/36/">Page-36</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/37/37/">Page-37</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/38/38/">Page-38</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/39/39/">Page-39</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/40/40/">Page-40</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/41/41/">Page-41</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/42/42/">Page-42</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/43/43/">Page-43</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/879/ednqpzlod/44/44/">Back-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publications/879/x/sitemap.xml" target="_blank">site map</a></LI> </UL>

 

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