Last week we were asked by one of our neighbours if we minded if another neighbour used the front paved area of our house for their wedding. This is quite a normal occurance in Cambodia, often a wedding marquee will go right across a street and if you need to go down you drive through or go another way!! So we said yes, not sure what would have happened if we said no!!!! We were informed the wedding would be on Friday and Saturday and our hearts sank!. We had been looking forward to a quiet weekend as we had had camp week at school and were quite tired. Cambodian weddings are not quiet and involve a lot of loud music blasted over loudspeakers!
On Tuesday of campweek we arrived home to find the marquee going up….this sent me into a state of mild panic!!! This is a view from our roof garden looking down onto the street.
So I got a Khmer friend from school to translate for me and went off to find the neighbours. This was really good as I have only seen them from a distance and not reaaly had much chance to speak to them. (i have little Khmer and they have little english not a good starting point for chatting!!!) I was a little embarrased as my hands were blue from tie-dying that day!!!
It turned out they had family coming and wanted to make use of the space before the wedding. Fortunately the most noisy part of the wedding was to take place on Thursday and Friday morning (we had a sleepover at the school that night which was well timed) The main party and dancing was to be held somewhere else.
On Thursday we arrived back from school to see the rest of the marquee up and the first part of the wedding in progress. It was very weird to march straight through the wedding proceedings with my motorbike….but perfectly normal!!!
I was pleased that I made the effort to go and take photos and chat with my neighbours as I met quite a few of them. I found out that there are at least four houses where they are related in this street but it was quite complicated. I think they were all related to the bride. The bride and groom will most likely live at the house they got married in with her parents or they will llive with his parents.
This is one of my neighbours who has the most gorgeous children. She can’t speak english but was happy to listen to my broken khmer. Her daughter was so cute and I even got a cuddle! Now I know where she lives and feel more at ease to go and initiate conversation.
So today it was all quiet as the wedding was over, the marquee dismantled and we enjoyed a quiet relaxing day! It made me realise how much I want to speak khmer and how frustrating it is not being able to hold even a simple conversation but thankful that I have learnt some and this is apprecited by my new neighbours.
So although the wedding was a bit noisy I am grateful as it was a great opportunity to make friends.
The most embarassing moment of the whole time was when I had wheeled my moto outside the front entrance to the wedding and then it wouldn’t start! Pretty soon there was a little cluster of wedding guests trying to get it started. It wouldn’t start due to a flat battery and Colin had to wheel it back throught the wedding!!!