.......................................... The Journey To Afghan Matrimony..........................................



Afghan_Shawl.jpg
Husband and wife look into each others eyes after traditional Afghan shawl is placed over them. Traditionally, the groom looks at his bride’s face in a mirror. This is the first time husband gets to see his bride as his wife.


In Afghanistan, dating is very rare and the Afghan laws govern the marriages. A Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman but a non-Muslim man can’t marry a Muslim woman.

Most Afghan marriages begin to get arranged when young Afghan girls reach the age of ten. Her mother and the women in her family begin to search for her groom. The groom is usually a first cousin, but if no first cousins are available they look elsewhere. They consult with other members of the family or members of the community while looking for a suitable match. Age, looks, education, the ability to support financially, and family background are taken into considerations when choosing a match. It is not unusual for the women in the family to choose an older man when looking for a groom. When the women think they have found a suitable groom, they hand their choice over to the men in the family. If the men agree with the choice, the pre-wedding ceremonies are performed to give a public approval of the things. Afghan marriage traditions allow girls of ten years of age or younger to get engaged, but not married.

The marriage generally takes place when the girl reaches the age of sixteen. In Afghanistan, every marriage requires two exchanges. A dowry is brought by the bride’s family and the “mahr”, the price for a girl, is paid by the groom. The night before the wedding, the bride-and-groom-to-be receive henna. The mother of the groom places a spoonful of henna onto the bride's palm and covers it with a cloth. The bride's mother places the henna on the pinky of the groom and covers it with a cloth. This ritual joins the man and woman. A traditional Afghan wedding takes place over a series of days. The days are filled with traditional Afghan ceremonies, dances, and food. On the first day, after the priest has read from the Koran, the couple is covered with a decorated shawl. The groom looks at his bride's face in a mirror and reads a prayer from the Koran. When the shawl is lifted, the bride and groom feed each other “Maaleda”, an Afghan dessert, as the audience applauds. The actual religious ceremony, where the bride and grooms family agree upon the premarital contract, occurs behind the scenes. Over the following days, dancing and singing take place, much like a traditional United States wedding. At the end of the wedding period, Attan, a traditional Afghan dance, is performed. When the final dance is over, the bride and groom stand by the door to show their respect and thank guests for coming to their ceremony.



Henna.jpg
Traditional Afghan henna placed on the bride's palm the night before her wedding.




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Sources: -http://www.videobabylon.ca/Afghan-Marriages-traditions.html
-http://www.afroarticles.com/article-dashboard/Article/Afghani-Marriage-Traditions/30565
-http://www.muslim-marriage-guide.com/afghan-marriage-traditions.html
-http://kabul.usembassy.gov/marriage.html