Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This is What a Cambodian Feminist Looks Like

I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at wedding inspiration boards that I will never pull off (ehem, Snippet & Ink, ohhh so beautiful). So perhaps I should give you guys an idea of what I will be subjected to. The golden couple? That will me and my beloved. Blingity-bling-bling!

The Cambodian (Khmer) wedding ceremony is based on the myth about Cambodia's origin. The basic story: foreign prince sees naga princess, falls in love, accomplishes the necessary challenges to marry her, and papa naga swallows the sea and gives Cambodia to the couple as a present. Thus, the royal dress, the myriad attendants, and goooold.

I'm not really that reluctant to jump into jewels. After all, perhaps I can get my foreign prince to accomplish the necessary challenge of scrubbing the bathtub before marrying me, and I'm really hoping that the sea my dad swallows will reveal an awesome condo in NYC. But these, I know, are true myths.

I like that our wedding will link us to centuries of ancestors and stories, but it does make for more complicated planning and an exhausting day. And I have some modifications: Groom's procession to the house with a band of musicians--yes. Counting of the flowers and presents to calculate dowry--NO. Blessing from married couples--yes. Changing my outfit multiple time so that guests can see what a versatile dresser I am--no. Knot-tying ceremony--yes.

Will these modifications make my mother cry? Quite possibly.

If you're interested in learning more, my dad wrote a pamphlet about Khmer customs.

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