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MARRIAGE IN SAUDI ARABIA

WHEN AN 18 YEAR OLD BOY IN SAUDI ARABIA SEES A YOUNG
GIRL, HE WOULD LIKE TO MARRY, THERE'S NO FOOLING
AROUND. HE GOES STRAIGHT TO FATHER OF BRIDE WITH TWO
OTHER MEN, USUALLY HIS FATHER AND ONE FRIEND. BOY'S
FATHER SPEAKS FOR HIM, ASKING FOR THE HAND OF THIS
MAN'S DAUGHTER. DOWRY IS SET AND THE YOUNG GIRL IS
BROUGHT IN AND ASKED IF SHE WANTS TO MARRY THIS YOUNG
MAN, THE TYPICAL RESPONSE THEN BEING "FATHER,
WHATEVER YOU WANT FOR ME." SO THE WEDDING IS SET.
A RELIGIOUS PERSON IS PRESENT FOR WEDDING TO GIVE
BLESSING AND LEGALIZE THE DOWRY. BRIDE'S FATHER
GIVE HER AWAY--BRIDE IS NOT PRESENT FOR CEREMONY.
THE WHOLE WEDDING CEREMONY IS MERELY A BUSINESS-TYPE
ORDEAL. AFTER WEDDING, GROOM GOES IN TO SEE BRIDE.
HOWEVER, HE DOESN'T SLEEP WITH HER THAT NIGHT.
THE NEXT NIGHT IS THE CELEBRATION, POETS, DANCERS,
FOOD, DRINK, THE WHOLE WORKS. THE GUESTS USUALLY
STAY ONE DAY AND TWO NIGHTS PARTYING. RIGHT BEFORE
THE GROOM TAKES THE BRIDE AWAY FOR HONEYMOON, HE
THROWS A BUNCH OF GOLD PIECES BEHIND HIS SHOULDER,
THE AMOUNT DEPENDING ON WEALTH, AND THEN RUNS AWAY
WITH HIS NEW WIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Ceremony

Date learned: 11-22-1971

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