In William Shakespeare’s, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” it is obvious that there are societal standards and beliefs of the view of marriage and weddings within the play. The time period that the story was taken place in, for example, it was believed that the daughter should marry the man her parents desired, or she would be sent to a convent or killed. Wedding customs and traditions have always differed throughout many different cultures all around the world and continue to do so. We are going to be comparing four societies wedding ceremonies and their reasons for observing these traditions, as well as talk about marriage throughout the play.
Chinese Wedding Traditions In Chinese wedding traditions, there are six etiquettes. First is the proposal, where the boy’s parents find a matchmaker, or a fortune teller, to find common interests of the potential daughter-in-law and their son. Second, the birthdates of the boy and girl are matched if the girl’s parents agree to the proposal. Third, bridal wealth is given to the girl, along with the betrothal letter. Next, wedding gifts are given out and both sets of parents exchange family credentials as tokens of intention. The boy’s family presents gifts such as tea, bridal cakes, pairs of poultry, sugar, wine, etc. The girl’s family presents gifts of food and clothing. When arranging the date, an appropriate date is chosen so that the couple does not wed on an unlucky day. Finally, the wedding ceremony consists of a wedding procession, where the bride is usually required to wear three different dresses called “qipaos.” At the ceremony, the bride and groom usually pay respect to their deities or their ancestors. Welcoming the bride takes place at the groom’s house that is decorated in red and the couple performs the marriage ceremony in front of family and friends. After the feast, the groom is finally able to take off the red cloth that covers the bride’s face and cuts off a lock of hair to symbolize they are of one heart.
Indian Wedding Traditions In a Sikh wedding there are many traditions, such as pre-wedding rituals, a couple are “Manghi” this ritual is when the girl’s side of the family goes to the boy’s house with gifts, jewelry, and other goods to confirm the engagement. The last major pre-wedding ritual is “Mehndi” or also known as hena. Mehndi is applied to the palms of the female family, and the hand and feet of the bride. Mehndi is sent from the future mother in law as a blessing. Rituals at the marriage venue vary through four, one ritual is “varmala”, the bride and groom stand in the middle of a circle where there family is standing and place a heavily made garland made of flowers on each other to state, they accept each other, and will love and live with one another. Friends and relatives dance around them to celebrate this happy occasion. The holy fire, a great protection from evil acts as a witness towards their marriage, during this ceremony the bride and groom hold hands and walk around the sacred fire. A post-wedding ritual is “Doli” this is when the bride’s family throws puffed rice over her head and prepares her to leave her parents house to go live with her new husband and his parents.
Traditionally in Jamaica weddings involve the entire village where the couple lives. Everyone is invited to the wedding, and it’s common that uninvited guests show up as well. The oddest tradition for Jamaicans is that the bride walks through the streets; villagers line up and call out to the bride criticizing her appearance. If she gets a lot of negative comments she returns home and tries to make herself look more beautiful, before returning to the wedding site. The reception is held at the groom’s family home, curried goat and rice are common food served at Jamaican weddings and the drinks served would be rum. There are multiple wedding fruit cakes that are covered in lace so that it would be a