The Wedding Day!!!!
Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
5Trip End Jan 28, 2012
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What I did
Temple at Lamphun
Greg and I left Chiang Mai at 8 am. The driver picked up Pi Jib and another Aj and we headed to the city of Lamphun. This is the home town of the bride. We were greeted by the bride's family. The ceremony was conducted at the Community Center. The bride and groom were posing for pictures on the front porch of the center. As we approached the beautifully decorated porch we were all positioned for photos with the bride and groom. The Community Center was decorated in the color of pink. We were told that pink is the color of love and is the traditional color for Thai weddings. At the entrance of the center was a table where the guest book was housed and a beautifully decorated box for cards. The ceremony was scheduled to start at 9 am. We arrived in time to take several pictures before the ceremony began. In Thai culture the number 9 is a lucky number so the majority of weddings are performed at 9 am. At 9 am the bride and groom along with the bride's parents went up on the stage and sat together on a decorated sofa. No words were audibly spoken during this part of the ceremony. The groom presented a bowl of money and another bowl of gifts to the bride's parents. Then without warning, the groom placed a ring on the bride's hand and then the bride placed a ring on the groom's hand. At this time everyone exited the stage. Two people served as Masters of Ceremony for the occasion. They spoke in Thai so I do not know what they said but I believe they were talking about the groom, bride, family and friends.
The MCs announced that the real ceremony was going to start at 9:09 am. I guess a luckier number because it has two 9s. The ceremony did not start right at 9:09 am but it was supposed to so I guess that is ok. The bride and groom entered the stage and sat beside each other in the middle of the stage. The bride's parents blessed each of them by putting their finger in a dish of fine white powder and then placing a design on each of their foreheads. After the blessing they exited the stage. Next, Pi Jip and another gentleman went up on the stage. Each of them had a special relationship with either the bride or groom and both were VIPs in the culture. Each of them said something about the bride or groom. I know Pi Jib and the bride have a very special relationship and the bride really cried during Pi Jib's speech. Following their speeches a white rope was placed in the head of each of the bride and groom, joining them together as one. Then each of us went on the stage and tied a string around the wrists of the bride and groom. We were to tie the string with tight knots signifying the tight unity of the marriage. After everyone tied the strings the ceremony was over. Food was served and we enjoyed a lunch.
Before we started back to Chiang Mai we visited the temple in Lamphun and a market that was known for its good buys on Thai silk. The students arrived back at campus shortly after us. They were so excited. They enjoyed the elephant show, the elephant ride, the ox drawn cart ride, lunch and the bamboo raft ride on the river. They could not wait to post pictures on FB.
We ate dinner on campus and had a NURS 495 meeting for about an hour or so. Everyone is adapting to the culture amazingly well. It seems as if everyone on this trip has traveled outside of the USA before.