A wedding is a funeral where you smell your own flowers.
Weddings are a fascinating insight into a culture. The joining of a couple involves elaborate rituals, which seem to be more for the benefit of the guests than for the couple. There are a number of key ingredients to a good wedding reception: music, dance, food, plenty of booze, and of course, the bride and groom.
A friend from Romania, who now lives in the
States, sent me these videos via e-mail. There were so many that I had a difficult
time deciding which ones to include in this post.
The first video is of a Sârba, (or Sirba) a very popular dance, done especially at weddings. Notice that there are two lines; one for men and one for women ("heel friendly", as my friend described it). The men use a back basket hold and the women just hold hands.
The bride leads a dance, and a fast one, too. She has no problem, despite having to hold up that long dress. Several of the women are dancing barefoot. Shoes, especially those high-heeled torture devices, get in the way. Whoever invented them had to be a man, and as punishment, should be made to walk wearing them several miles over cobblestones. Ouch!
In the next video people stuff money down the bride's bodice while she gets her crown and veil adjusted. It is a major project.
The bride must have spent hours at the hairdresser's, so the crown has to be placed just so. Can't mess up the hair. Don't forget the hairspray, the perfume,and the pastry! The bride looks like she'd rather be somewhere else...I hope they gave her something alcoholic to calm her down.
If you want to skip to the dancing, it starts at 8:07.
If you are a regular visitor to this blog (and I hope you are) you will recognize the rhythm to this dance. In Romania it's geampara, on the other side of the Danube, it's rachenitsa. Somewhere in the middle it changes to sirba. Rhythm changes during dance sequences are very common in the Balkans. Check out the costumed dancers at the beginning of the video, they are a goat and a horse.
This group of men dances Căluşari which in its original form is performed by costumed dancers around the springtime holiday of Pentecost. It is a dance for men only and has pagan origins.
If you enjoyed this you may also like:
The "Flavors" of Romanian Sirba, an entertaining and informative look at a Romanian folk dance.
Crossing the River Part Two: The Stick Dancers-Romanian Căluşari and their Bulgarian Counterparts
Have you had a bad day? Enjoy some wedding bloopers from Romania and Bulgaria.
I also want to thank Ileana for sending me the videos....these were fun to watch!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.