Kazakh people love celebrating special occasions, particularly weddings and birthdays. Rich people organize them to show off, whilst middle and lower income households take loans from banks and ask for help from relatives, so that everything is at a good level and they are not ashamed in front of the society.
In this post, I want to explain how wedding preparations go. But before you need to know that there are a few steps or, in other words, a few customs and events (over 35) before the actual, main wedding. However, nowadays, not all of them are perceived as a must to do, even though in some regions old traditions are still followed.
So, based on my brother’s upcoming wedding, after his proposal, parents met and agreed on the dates. Next is “Kuda Tusu” day when delegation of the groom visits the household of the bride and both sides start to get to know each other closer. Nowadays, “Syrga Salu” tradition, when a very respectful woman from the groom’s family puts on earring on the bride, takes place at the same day. At the end of these important events comes a feast, followed by presenting gifts to each other. Believe me, no one in the room is left with no present in his/her hands. And by the way the type of gifts varies from fur coats, carpets to gold watches and jewellery.
A few months later, there is an important celebration called “Kyz Uzatu”, which is basically a wedding organised by the bride’s parents. But it has a distinction at the end which turns the whole happiness into sadness- the bride leaves the ballroom by walking on a white carpet, not allowed to look back, and the groom carries her away to their new house. Usually, couples move in to a new apartment right after the “Kyz Uzatu” or live with groom’s parents for a while. Or forever… if the guy is the youngest in the family. Although, that does not always work, since my dad and mom has lived with his mom for a few months and then went independent.
After a week or less comes the main wedding, which is, in fact, not that different from “Kyz Uzatu”. The only difference is previously mentioned sad tradition of a girl leaving the parental house for ever, and the demographics of the guests. So, since “Kyz Uzatu” is a wedding organised by the girl’s side, then only 10-20% of guests are from boy’s side. The same pattern appears on main wedding’s: if 400 people are invited, only 40-70 people are bride’s relatives.
If you want to know more about what happens on the main wedding, stay tuned for the next post! 🙂