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Nubian Wedding





EGYPT, Nubian Wedding

        Itís our third night on the felucca.  Our trip is supposed to end this morning but Sylvain (my travel buddy) and I are invited to a wedding.  Our felucca captain Jamalsí friend is getting married.

        We are on an island just across Kom Ombo. Captain Jamal is having a hard time deciding where to moor his felucca.  Apparently thefts are common in this area.  He wants to make sure that no one steals our possessions.

        The wedding starts at midnight.  We are in no rush as we walk through the maze in the village.  We see the bright lights of the wedding ahead.  Strings of light bulbs are draped across houses.  Festival banners accompany the light bulbs.  The wedding is being held at an outdoor basketball court.  This is only one area on the island that is large enough to accommodate the guests.

        Sylvain and I are both wearing blue djalabiyas.  Iím wearing a blue headpiece with gold coins and he is wearing a white turban.

        We immediately get curious stares by villagers.  The children are following us around.  They are whispering and giggling amongst themselves. The little girls come up to me to touch my headpiece.

        One of the guests invite us into his home.  The women and children are sleeping in the larger room.  He takes us to the very back room which is a bedroom.  There are six of us in the room.  The conversation bores me and someone is smoking so I leave.

        As soon as I am outside another man takes me to the brides home.  There are about fifty women standing in front of a throne.  The bride and her bridesmaid are sitting on two separate chairs.  They are elevated so their heads are almost touching the ceiling.  They look like goddesses in their white gowns embroidered with gold beads.

        The man that I am with starts to sing and dance in front of the bride.  He gestures for me to do the same.  All the other women sing the songs harmony.

        This dance is the most amazing performance of my life. The feeling I have is of complete acceptance and appreciation  of my dance and myself.

        After being in a state of bliss, Sylvain and the other men escort me out of the house.  All the women follow.  They all want my autograph.  I am flattered.

        We take our seats on the court as the wedding festivities begin.  I can see from a distance that the bride and her bridesmaid are both out of the house.   They are still on their elevated thrones.

        The men begin a line dance.  Sylvain joins them even if he does not know what to do.  Their dance is a reflection of their life along the Nile.  The movements are very fluid.  They look like they are swimming.  The song they are dancing to makes me feel like Iím floating on water.  It is very relaxing.  I have never seen men dancing so gracefully.  They are mesmerizing like waves rippling on the Nile.

        Our felucca captain is becoming too paranoid about his felucca being stolen.  Unfortunately I am not able to see the wedding in its entirety.  The celebration will last until five in the morning.

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