Tee and I decided to get married and we then decided to combine that celebration with meeting his parents, friends and family for the first time. Tee said it would be a small ceremony in his village. Well, we ate 3 whole pigs in 24 hours.
“We are going to get blessed and then we’ll eat pig.” One of the things I quickly realized is that details, time and other specifics are irrelevant in village life. For example, when asked a question Tee will most often respond with a range of numbers, not a specific answer and he isn’t being evasive, it just doesn’t really matter. In terms of the actual wedding, I don’t think Tee knew what was going on most of the time and because of the language barrier I knew even less. So, though it was against every control freak bone I have in my body, I decided to sit back and see how things unfurled.
The morning of the 29th I awoke at daybreak to the sounds of a pig being slaughtered. By about 9 am both pigs were butchered and were simmering away.
I was called inside to get dressed and found about 30 woman all seated inside waiting to take part in the dressing ceremony. Quickly I was encircled by family members and first my skirt was pulled on over my head and cinched in place, and next came my shirt. They all stepped back to assess their work and then someone gestured to my head. Traditionally Karen woman wear a piece of fabric wrapped around their head, now days they often use a bath towel. In moment a long piece of embroidered fabric appeared and I knelt down and had my head wrapped.
I stood up and Tee’s grandma grinned up at me and gave me a double thumbs up. Another minute passed and his mom quietly walked back in and slipped a yellow beaded necklace over my head and handed me a pair of new socks (its cold in the mountains in the morning).
Tee’s part of the dressing ceremony was over much more quickly as his cousin slipped his shirt over his head and we headed upstairs for the blessing.