Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gandhi's Wedding

Yesterday my friend Gandhi and her novio Sinhue were married in Telixlahuaca, which is a small pueblo about forty-five minutes from the city of Oaxaca.

Gandhi’s wedding was the second Mexican wedding I’ve been invited to. The first was conducted in Santo Domingo Cathedral, which is likely the most expensive place in the state to wed. After the ceremony a grand reception was held on a hilltop where the family pulled out all the stops. Food , drink and entertainment flowed in almost reckless abundance.

Gandhi and Sinhue had a very different wedding. It took place under a gigantic sheet of canvas. There were cows in the field, stray dogs wandering, and the high heels of elegantly dressed woman sunk into the dusty ground. The bride didn’t wear white. She chose traditional indigenous attire, and it was a civil ceremony. It seemed so right that this indigenous couple would choose not to be Catholic. The field was far more intimate than the intimidating cathedral.

At Gandhi’s wedding there was music, but unlike my first wedding all of it was Mexican. There was plenty to drink: beer, horchata and jamaica, but there wasn’t Mescal or Tequila. There was food, prepared by friends and family, not a professional chef: tortillas, vegetable soup, a salad of tomatoes, cilantro and lettuce, roast pork and of course cake. The cake came from a pasteleria.

Several extranjeros were invited to my first Mexican wedding. I was the only extranjero at my second wedding.

Gandhi and Sinhue had what they wanted a simple and elegant wedding.

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