Party Season

Party season is underway, and we've been to our share of celebrations the past few weeks. A friend of ours was married last weekend, and we actually went to our first Cambodian wedding at a church. Weddings are normally held at the home of the bride's parents, but as the bride and groom were Christians, they wanted to celebrate their wedding in a church. It certainly felt more familiar to us than most weddings we attend here, although it still included the "fruit walk" first thing in the morning (read more about Cambodian wedding ceremonies here) and the breakfast rice soup of "bor-bor".

Weddings are very significant in Cambodian culture - the threshold where people leave their childhood and become adults. The next day in church, the now-married man had stood up to thank everyone for their support and gifts. He said, I am no longer a child but am now a man. I find it interesting because American culture doesn't have a specific moment where one can say, I am now an adult. Some people think it's when they get their first job, or pay their first bill; when they move out of the house; or their first sexual experience. I think it's refreshing in a way to recognize the importance and value of marriage in life and how it does make us more mature, responsible people. At least it has for me! 

This wedding was a first not only because the wedding was in a church, but also because Andrew played music for the ceremony. He has been playing keyboard in the worship service on the Sundays we are in Poipet, and he's enjoyed using his musical talents with the group. 

Last night we also attended another party at our neighbor's house - the same neighbors who threw a massive shindig last year with the crazy dancing dude in gold and music so loud we slept at a friend's house. This time, it was a housewarming party (or the Cambodian version of one), as the neighbors recently finished building a new house with a small shop in the front. We saw them setting up large tents the day before, and when I stopped to buy a mobile phone top-up, they promptly handed me an invitation. We figured that, since the music would be pounding through our windows anyway, we might as well take advantage of the party.

Luckily the party lasted only til 11pm, although we had gone to bed (though not to sleep) long before then. The next morning, our neighbors were putting away chairs and tables, bleary-eyed and a bit hung over, paper napkins and empty beer cans laying scattered all over the ground. I hope our neighbors have their fill of partying for the rest of the year...
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