Weddings seem to play an important role in the lives of the people in Central Asia. Cities in this region are mostly much smaller than the metropoles elsewhere in the world, but still I saw wedding ceremonies on a daily basis. On my second day in Kyrgyzstan I was spontenously invited by the family and friends of newlyweds. Crashing a wedding party gave me a nice insight in the local culture.
Osh, Kyrgyzstan seemed a pleasant place to chill out after a week of road tripping through Tajikistan. I had recovered from the altitude sickness I had suffered in Murghab and wanted to take it easy. I had just said goodbye to the ones I had been travelling with for a week, when I couldn’t resist to wander around the city.
I wandered around the parks near the guesthouse I stayed at, and found an impressive version of another Lenin statue. At the park nearby I saw a group of people arriving by car. They were all beautifully dressed. All the guys wore a neat white blouse. Most of the girls wore a beautiful red dress, although some of them wore a green, black or white one.
It were the 2 teenage girls who were the first to make contact. They were obviously curious and tried to communicate, despite the big language barrier. It didn’t take long before more people gathered around me, all curious where I’m from, what I’m doing in Osh and of course whether I like the city.
While I was talking to some of them, others decided to take some pictures. Soon they asked for a picture with me. And after the first one took a picture with me, the rest wanted as well. It felt a bit weird to get the most attention at someone else’s wedding party.
The group moved on, but some of them soon came back and asked me to join. I resisted at first, but they didn’t leave me a choice. I moved closer and was asked to dance with them. Again I refused at first, but I was techincally just pushed onto the ‘dancefloor’. My luck was that the dancing skills of the people in Central Asia aren’t really impressive, so I totally fit in the group. 😉
The dancefloor was just an open space in the park. They had hired a guy who was playing accordion and the rest was dancing to the music he played. Crashing a wedding party in Kyrgyzstan, who could have known… Despite all the stereotypes, no alcohol was involved in this party.
The group was impressed by my SLR, which is something special to have in Central Asia. I was asked regularly to take their picture, but was never asked to send them the pictures. They just enjoyed being photographed.
I spent about an hour with them before they moved location for the actual ceremony. Two individuals asked me if I wanted to see a Kyrgyz wedding ceremony and if I wanted to join to the location. I would have loved to, but it didn’t feel right to accept the invitation without being invited by the couple. So I told them goodbye and watched them leaving.