About 10 am, my students Anna (10) and Katie (7) came over to my host family; Anna to go visiting with me and one of my host sisters, Katie to play with my 7 year old host sister Fatima. The girls were also beautifully dressed and had even curled their hair!
|All the pictures in this post were taken with my little video camera, and the quality may be questionable. ;)|
At last, at about half past eleven, we were ready to go. My host mother and sisters, as well as myself, had dressed carefully, as befitted the holiday. Going a little way day down the street, we visited a neighbor's house with a new bride, or "kellin." Here, in a long narrow room set apart for the women, we sat with about 15 other women around an elaborate dusterhahn (tablecloth). Shahlo, my host sister, leaned over and whispered to me that the family probably had not slept the night before due to the preparations. Dozens of fried pastries, sweets, and cookies crowded fruit, tea, sodas, and other treats. It was hard to see the cloth for the food!
A few minutes after we sat down, the bride came in. She was richly dressed in velvet and heavily adorned with her wedding jewelry. The young woman (she was probably younger than myself) wore a traditional hat, and over it, a delicate lace veil. Holding this veil over her face with both hands, she carefully bowed five or six times to the group of women to show her respect, before slowly backing out of the room again. Apparently, brides do this all day for dozens of guests.
Then it was time to go on to other visits. It is only polite to stay 10-15 minutes at each house. Here things got a little uncomfortable for me, because my host sisters weren't in agreement over who I should go visiting with. It was nice to be so wanted, but a bit uncomfortable as well! Thankfully, it was soon resolved and I set off with Anna and Maryam (14) to visit some of her classmates.
It would take far too long to sum up all the adventures we got to experience that day! To sum up, I got a fun view of a Central Asian schoolgirl's life. The girls let me take pictures of them, although one girl cast her eyes down modestly as I did so. They then raced over (giggling) and saying "Show me! show me!" They asked if I had any eyeliner I could use; thankfully I did have some in my purse (see Daddy, that's why I carry so much in there! :) ). Then, almost like little girls at a slumber party, they carefully applied it to each other's eyes, laughing and joking the while.
|Although our hostess (left) wouldn't look at the camera, she loved having pictures taken of her.|
|These girls loved my makeup!|