Take the wedding, for instance. THAT is something that shouldve been written about soon after it happened as it was a major event.
First let me say that I was stressed about it because I didnt know what to wear and I didnt want to stand out as an outsider at all. I went to store after store looking for a dress that I liked and would/could wear again. Never would I have thought Id be wearing a red dress-to a wedding or any other event.
When we first arrived, we walked into a HUGE room with many round tables set up for seating and you sit where you wanted to. There were maybe 50 tables to seat about 8 each in the room.There are two perfume girls holding incense and you can waft it in your direction before taking your seat. We were beckoned over by one of the staff who kindly seated us close to her. We greeted the other teachers with hand shakes and cheek kisses and everyone was so beautiful! They had professional makeup and hair and pretty dresses though they were covered by an open abaya.
I was surprised to see so many abayas in the room. Some were sheer over an evening gown. Some had on the traditional metal face ( ) <----- I dont know what its called. Some girls had on beautiful evening dresses along with big,pinned up hair, and eyeshadow to die for! It took hours for them to get the looks only to be washed away at the end of the night :-(.
Two little girls kept looking at my hair and asking the grown up with them about it, I could tell,lol. Later they were talking to another girl and she decided to come and ask me what my name was but instead of looking at me, she was looking at my hair. I told her my name and also that this was my hair. She touched it and smiled. Satisfied, she went back to her seat,lol.
We got there around 930 at night, as instructed. We ate around 10 and the food was so much. Most of it I had eaten before and it was good. Even after all of us got a plate full, it looked as if the massive plate in the middle of the table hadnt been touched. At the end of the night, all the food is taken away and presumably discarded. That was a hard pill for me to swallow.
The bride came in around 11ish. She walks soooo slowly and the camera is in front of her as she walks snapping pictures. She slowly walks to the stage and takes a seat. After that, she does not get up or move. Everyone goes to greet her on the stage so we did that. The littlest girls walk around in the prettiest little dresses too.They were all so cute. Also, the brides mom threw $$ off the stage. We were told they were 100 dirham bills.WOW. She wears a "regular" wedding dress-regular meaning one that a westerner would wear. I wondered how she felt.If she was happy about the whole thing-being married and also who she married. I also wondered how many women in this same spot dread the day and/or cry themselves to sleep that first night with their new husband. Just as our way is peculiar to them, this way is also very peculiar to me.
close to midnight the groom and his family come in and they stand on stage. Their families greet and Im not sure what else they do after that. He was handsome and they looked nice together. We left shortly after that.
The entire time, there was music from a dj and singing and dancing by the women whether they were on the floor, on the stage, or by their chairs. Seeing the women in their abayas dancing was so shocking to me. This one lady in particular who looked to be in her 40s or 50s was getting down! She could show me how to move my hips like she was,lol. They definitely looked to be enjoying themselves to the fullest. The entire experience is one you should accept if given the chance. Its not something that happens often for an expat and if youre in the school, I do think it builds relationships.
sidenote:we were told that we could wear whatever we wanted to but if you have the opportunity to go to an Emirate wedding, dont show too much skin. I saw dirty looks and stares upon someone who did just that.Just like granny used to say-choose one thing and show that,dont show everything,lol.You never know whos watching after all or what opinions they are formulating.We arent in our own country.