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Honoring Traditional Moroccan Wedding Customs

[ad#Link share in post google replacement]It’s been suggested that I am a bit of a selfish prick for not appreciating the traditional wedding customs of my beautiful Moroccan bride.

Perhaps, you are right, maybe I am being selfish. After all, one has to honor the community that one lives in right, and one needs to respect and honor the customs that have been handed down through the ages right?
dead groom
I suppose it would be selfish of me to not insist upon the following customs:
1) I should encourage Hanane to work her ass off for every female relative or friend who gets married and spend days making herself exhausted and miserable and then tell her to shut up about it when she complains to me about it, that’s the traditional way a Moroccan husband would deal with it.
2) I should force her to wear the veil again since she is a married woman now and showing any sort of skin or hair is just encouragement to her being harassed and pestered, besides it will bring shame upon me, according to tradition and custom. In fact, custom and tradition demand that if I catch her looking at, talking to, or god forbid touching a man who is not her brother or father, I should beat her and possibly publicly humiliate her.
3) Speaking of beating, a Moroccan friend of mine told me that according to custom I should really give her a good beating on our wedding night just to set things straight about how our life will be together. Sounds like a good idea, right? I mean, if I don’t follow the custom, she might not think that I love her enough.
4) And, also on the wedding night, we mustn’t ignore the time honred tradition of my mother and uncle waiting outside the nuptual chambers for me to finish ‘deflowering her’, I’ll be sure to give the rag with her virginal blood on it to my mother so that she can parade it around amongst the relatives and show what a stallion her son is. Of course, if there’s no blood than the marriage will be null and void according to custom and she and her family will have to endure a lifetime of shame and disdain from the loving community that wouldn’t want them to feel that they were being left out of all the fun.
5) Since the wedding is women’s work, I will be sure to just sit back as my new brother in law did and watch as all the women work themselves into exhaustion. As he so nicely put it “It’s women’s work, so no problem. For me, it’s easy.” Also I appreciate the fact that he made his bride foot most of the bill for the wedding too and since it was all her show he didn’t bother to bring any friends or family with him.
6) Speaking of expenses, since we are a multi-cultural family now, I suppose I can insist that my father in law pay for all of the expenses of the wedding as happens in the west, sure, he’s a shepherd and as a teacher, I make a decent living, but it’s his responsibility as a person to honor the customs of my country.
7) So, in keeping with that, we’ll be sure to have plenty of booze in the Western tradition so that all the guests can get good and liquored up, those who choose to honor Islam can abstain.
8) Since it’s shameful to display any sort of affection there will be no kissing the bride (this is truly the custom, what a shame if someone were to see you expressing love with a kiss in public!)
9) Also, I realize that by not honoring the time honored tradition of having a blaring stereo or having our wedding reception in a warehouse with garbage in the corners, I will be depriving my bride of a sense of community she desires. Also we will be sure to have the customary kif smokers and to have all the leeching family from 300 miles come and make demands upon her mother’s hospitality. They deserve it after all. Truly, when guests come to visit in Morocco, they don’t bring gifts, they don’t contribute to the household, and they don’t help out, they just sit around making demands for the most part. Ask any Moroccan and they will tell you and it’s a time honored tradition that everyone looks forward to reciprocating (of course there are exceptions, but not many).
10) We’ll be sure to invite all the people in the neighborhood and who I’ve heard so many nasty things about since coming here, to not invite them would be shameful and of course they will bring their relatives too. Seriously, if you don’t invite everyone you know to the wedding, it’s a public shame for the entire family.
drunk groom
Sounds great right? Why don’t we re-institute the time tested tradition of female circumcision while we are at it! What a bunch of horse crap.

Every woman and every man should be able to feel special on their wedding day. For me, I’ve always dreamed of going alone into the woods with my bride, laying down a broomstick and jumping over it while holding hands. No guests, no priest, no cake, no $1000 wedding gowns, no tuxedos, no guest list, no gift index, no nothing but me and my sweety.

Hanane has always dreamed of something more than that and she’s going to get it.

Marriage is a constant state of compromise I think and multi-cultural marriage is even more so. I want my lady to feel like she is the most special person in the world. I want her to remember the moments of our wedding as some of the most joyful of our life. Note, I said our life. That means me too, the selfish guy. The selfish guy that’s paying, the selfish guy that’s planning, the selfish guy that’s trying to find the sweetest compromise that adds up to something more than the utterly common, the selfish guy that hates to see his mother in law exhausted, the selfish guy that listens to his wife complain about things that she shouldn’t have to complain about but is forced to because of custom, the selfish guy that encouraged his wife to take off the veil, the selfish guy that doesn’t want to take away her father’s cigarette money, the selfish guy who is working his ass off each day so that we can have a special wedding, take a trip to Turkey, and have a standard of living that is far beyond what my bride expects or has ever had. Yes, poor fucking me, the selfish bastard that has been lying, jumping through hoops, traveling during every free moment, and paying to get all the necessary papers for marriage for the past year. Yes, poor fucking me that didn’t even get to find out that the small dinner to announce the engagement was a full on party, who paid a dowry, who put on a big marriage papers are signed lunch party, who constantly deals with living in a culture that is still so foreign that it seems at times to be completely retarded. Although, maybe I understand it well enough now to know that it really is.

Every Moroccan bride looks miserable at her wedding, or so I’ve been told. From my observations of the other night, I can see why. Every Moroccan groom looks pretty miserable too, I’m sure. In fact, if you are shuffled into the men’s section at a Moroccan wedding or engagement party, you will find that all the male guests are pretty miserable and that’s why everyone but the young kif smokers disappears promptly after the food is served.
unhappy wedding
So, I want to thank those of you that let me know what a jerk I am. You’re right. It’s no secret. My wife knows, you know, and I know. I’m a big fucking jerk.
unhappy bride and groom
And, as a big fucking jerk, I’m going to make sure that Hanane and I have a beautiful, magical, and utterly romantic and wonderful wedding. It’s my right as a selfish jerk. Thanks for reaffirming that…as to the customs….fuck those fucking customs.

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Vago Damitio

Mr. Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

6 thoughts on “Honoring Traditional Moroccan Wedding Customs

  • April 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm
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    Love it!!! Hey, in the interest of multicutluralness why don’t you also honor your marriage the American way by the night before going to a strip club and having a naked woman bounce around on your lap? There’s no better way to show your love than that!

  • April 20, 2010 at 7:48 am
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    haha, good one Fawn, I forgot about that tradition.

  • April 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm
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    Finally you’re coming around to seeing things my way! If I ever get my shit wiped properly I’ll come visit you in your adopted retarded country, and my wedding gift will be a ten foot tall portrait of the prophet.

    The way I see it, you can’t completely blame the people who are alive now for keeping their country retarded, I bet if they were exposed to someplace civilized they’d want quite a bit of it.

    The dead hand of the past is kept alive by evil part of human nature in that says if you suffer something, you want someone else to suffer it too. I’d say that pretty much sums up large swaths of Arab society, particularly when it comes to bureaucracy and who women are treated. It’s not just in Arab society though, it’s also prevalent in countries where catholicism had a strong pimp hand.

    For some reason, societies that are considered the most religious are the places that smell most like ass. Go anywhere in the world, and to the degree that everyone is doing everything due to cultural and religious tradition, the higher the odds that at some point during your day you’re gonna catch the familiar whiff of acrid piss and drying human shit. And nine times out of ten, women will be treated more like chattel the more often you smell shit, or see live animals at the market.

    As much as I try to live and see the world as it is, I also respect my own right to call a pile of shit what it is and in my own way make changes in the world even if it’s for the simple selfish reason of not wanting to smell ass all day.

    You’ve bitten off more than a few lifetimes to chew in Morocco, which I think has an etymological relationship to the word moron. You made it to the source!!

    Those wiley Spaniards.

  • April 26, 2010 at 8:38 am
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    Yikes Rev.

    I support your right to call a pile of shit a pile of shit, but maybe I should point out that this is also a place where you can get fresh food for pennies, that the smell of spices in the souks usually covers the acrid smell of piss, and that there are many beautiful things here besides the French inspired bureaucracy, the Arab inspired traditions, and of course that I’ve never spent time in any American city without smelling piss or having to smell some person who hasn’t washed for weeks on end.

    The Nordic countries sound pretty idealic but I’ve never been to them and am guessing that if it were warmer you would smell shit there too. Let’s not forget that American weddings often bankrupt people and that the bride and groom are as trapped in traditions there as they are here….

    How’s Tennessee?

  • April 28, 2010 at 3:15 am
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    I’ve been to Tennessee. Like all places-some parts wonderful, some parts retarded. Some people wonderful, you know the rest….all wonderful earthly places are homes for humans and humans are complex and questionable at best. I like the fact you say it like it is and see the WHOLE picture. You and Hanane will light a dark room together! I can feel it in my heart.

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