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Alexandra Sangadzhieva, Wedding Rituals

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Terbish, Baasanjav 


Alexandra talks about Kalmyk wedding rituals by recounting her children’s weddings, including the matchmaking ceremony, wedding, and a post-wedding ritual. Matchmaking. The groom’s delegation consisted of two people, including the groom’s mother and aunt who came to meet the bride’s parents. The bride’s side offered vodka and food to the guests, and discussed the date of a wedding. The bride’s side gave a chest (‘avdr’) with presents and cloth strips to the groom’s relatives. Wedding. The groom’s people came to the bride’s house. The head of the delegation (‘khyurmin tolgach’) ‘paid’ for the bride’s dowry by giving away banknotes until he had none left. After that the bride was brought out from her natal house, accompanied with her dowry. The head of the delegation touched the dowry. While the bride left her house, people were singing a song of farewell. Her relatives uttered well-wishes and wished her a safe journey. Post-wedding ritual. A week after the wedding, the bride’s parents went to see their daughter. Until then she cannot go and see her parents herself.



Wedding, matchmaking, post-wedding

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Kalmyk Cultural Heritage Documentation Project, University of Cambridge

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Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin