Number of People with Nothing Better to Do

Monday, December 7, 2009

Matrimonio Massivo

This weekend I was invited to join the mayor, his wife and my host mother to four weddings (no funeral) in one of the annexes in our district. The wedding ceremony was more of a legal proceeding under a thatch roof with a dog lying on the ground rather than some extravaganza at a church with white gowns, ushers, and bride’s maids in bad dresses that can’t be worn more than once (despite what the bride says).

My host mom is the civil register in our district. She registers births, weddings, deaths, etc. During the wedding, the civil register reads from something that looks like a bible but is in fact a book of regulations, the brides and grooms agree to follow the law and then paperwork is signed. Each couple needs two witnesses that have to have an official Peruvian identification card. Things were going well until the last groom couldn’t find a witness who had the right form of ID. Someone said get the gringo to do it. I had my passport so I acted as his witness and signed the poor kid’s life away.

The mayor said some words and my host mom announced you may now kiss your brides. Turns out that no one except for one couple wanted to kiss, at least not publicly. It didn’t help that my host mom goaded them on, made them go one by one, and told them that everyone was watching. It was a momento incomodo (awkward moment).

Afterwards we ate lunch and I got sicker’n shit the next day.

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