A Bedouin wedding involves a long gathering, sometimes over several days. Yesterday, Nature Travel attended a wedding celebration near our home base in Nuweiba.
Large, colourful tents are raised, one for the men and another a few metres away for the women and children. A procession of cars arrives in a cloud of sand dust, with one or two Bedouin shooting into the sky to announce their happiness.
Lengths of carpet are rolled out for the men to sit on, shoes are removed and everyone sits in small groups, talking and drinking tea and coffee. The men in each group stand up to greet new arrivals, then sit again to continue their talk. Later they shared large plates of rice and lamb. And more tea. The men wear different styles and colours of galabia, but mostly white, often paired with a Western suit jacket now winter is here. The variations in how the men drape their headcovers is fascinating; some just let the fabric follow the natural line from their head to shoulders, others fold or flip it into sculptural wonders.
In the women’s tent the atmosphere is more effervescent. The women cluster together, talking and laughing, sometimes singing, while the children play and wander among them. As in the men’s tent there are rounds of tea drinking, an essential of Bedouin hospitality. While most of the women wear black or black covers, there are glimpses of bright colours; many women have all but their eyes covered, and you become entranced by the beautiful, often iridescent eye shadows, and the flashes of pink, green, red, or turquoise sleeves and hems of garments, the gold and silver embroidery and embellishments, and some elaborately decorated handbags carried by the younger women. These women have wonderful style and, as in any culture, it really goes on show for a wedding.
The celebrations will continue into the night.
Video (2 minutes) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7wV3fpaero&feature=youtu.be