The Pakistani weddings are great affairs provided you are blessed with infinite patience. Even better if you are not weighed down with mundane matters such as earning a living or living a life.
It should be noted at the outset that in Pakistan the groom, whether 26 or 66 years old, is always referred to as the ‘boy’, and the bride as the ‘girl’ (no questions asked). We are miles ahead of the west in our crusade against ageism.
The Pakistani wedding broadly consists of mayon, mehndi, nikaah, baraat and valima; with mehndi, baraat and valima warranting separate events on separate days. (The mayon may be preceded or followed by one or more dholki events, consisting mainly of dancing and singing.) Friends and close relatives are invited to, and expected to attend, all major events. This format is adhered to surprisingly invariably even though the only strictly necessary part is the nikaah – the official contract of marriage – with everything else merely being cultural or traditional. Also, this format is here to stay, for the parties getting married and their parents will likely continue to struggle to come to terms with the fact that the event is of less cosmic importance than they think.n mayon, oil and turmeric are applied to the bride’s face and hands to make her look pale and bland; she is also made to wear yellow – all this designed to make her look especially attractive and glowing on the day of the mehndi (in some cases this transformation is reserved for the baraat). It used to be solely a girl’s event but in our enlightened new world it is gender-neutral now, although it’s difficult to visualise how oil can make most men blander than they otherwise are. The guests are served chicken.