How to marry in Egypt the traditional way

Discuss the problems that can occur in relationships with differing cultures and help overcome any barriers that exist.

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Ebikatsu
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How to marry in Egypt the traditional way

Post by Ebikatsu » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:11 pm

I will make this thread to outline what is acceptable and culturally normal, and what is often practiced but frowned upon in Egyptian society as regards marriage procedure.

Not sure if you want to sticky this Keefy?


ACCEPTABLE:

Step 1

The potential groom takes a shine to a potential bride. It could be a relative, family friend, complete stranger, work or university colleague. He will not approach her as re: marriage but maybe talk to her in class or briefly in public.
If he likes her he tells his mother and father and the family then do a bit of investigation about the family of the potential bride. So far the bride knows nothing.
Egyptians like to marry Egyptians because it is easy to trace family reputations, standing and class.
If the PB ( potential bride )'s family are of the same class, respectable, of good reputation, and they think that she will make a nice addition to the family they will move to step 2. If she is divorced, or widowed it should make no difference but obviously this is not always the case.

Step 2

The PG (potential groom)'s mother will make arrangements to speak to the PB's mother. They will sit over coffee in the PB's home and the PB's mother will tell her that her son is interested in marrying her daughter. MARRY being the operative word, dating does not exist in this culture..
The PB's mother then tells her daughter that there is a man asking to marry her and if she knows him she will say yes or no. If she does not know him the PG's family will then go to the PB"s home for a get together. This will include siblings and parents. They all sit down and ask each other about their children. academics, jobs, career path, has he a home prepared, furniture, they will also discuss health, moods, characters of the couple. This is all done in the lounge.

Step 3

The girl has a few weeks to decide if she wants to marry. No contact is usually made in this time between the couple. When the PB decides she doesn't then the mother calls the PG's mother and say's no thanks and that's it.
if she is accepting his proposal then the families meet again at the PB's home to discuss dowry.
The PG will offer gold as the dowry usually. Shortly after the couple will go out with chaperone to buy the gold. The PB chooses it and the PG keeps it at his house till the engagement party.
The couples families will arrange an engagement party to announce the betrothal. She will get her gold and if it is called off it is returned to him.
They then have the party and they are officially engaged. They still have not spend more than a few hours together chaperoned. They are now after the party recognised as engaged and can spend more time together planning the wedding but still chaperoned in a building with doors. Sometimes even out in public.
The next few weeks or months is used to plan the wedding and furnish the flat.

Step 4

Signing the contract.
Shortly before the flat is ready or when it is ready the couple then sign the contract. he goes to the mosque with the men of the family, her father and brothers and uncles also go. Both fathers sit opposite each other and recite Quran and sign the marriage contract. The PB is at home and her father is her advocate. The mazoun takes the contract and registers it. When they leave the mosque the marriage is legal. They are m,an and wife, BUT custom here is they do not live together till the wedding reception. That could be 6 months if the apartment is not ready, this is normal.

The wedding party is then arranged and the apartment is ready to move into and the bride and groom do all their prep ie shaving, sugaring, threading, make up etc , they then go to the party, scream like banshee's for 10 hours, honk horns till your ear drums bleed and then they go as man and wife to spend their first night together in their new home.

That is the traditional , cultural marriage in Egypt.
Up to any point before the contract signing either can call it off but it is more embarrassing to do that after an engagement party and some couples prefer just one marriage party because of this.
If it's called off he keeps his stuff and the dowry and her furniture etc is returned to her.


UNACCEPTABLE

An Egyptian couple meeting at University and getting orfi without anyone knowing and sleeping together.

Foreign woman Egyptian man getting orfi and none of his family and hers being aware.

The man not offering a dowry.

The man not making a public announcement of the marriage.

The man not registering the marriage at the MOJ.

If your man is Muslim and you meet him in a bar or club and he wants to takes you to a lawyer to have an orfi done . First off he should not be in a bar or club, so that is kind of a warning to you if you don't know the culture, of what kind of guy he is, and is thought to be in this culture. Secondly try to get information from Egyptian women on how men should behave. Do you see Egyptian women in clubs? yes possibly in Cairo and Alex BUT be very aware of how they are regarded. Even a woman smoking in public is regarded as low class and not respectable believe it or not. You rarely see women here smoke for that reason.

An Egyptian woman's reputation is often all she has of worth. Here in Egypt reputation is EVERYTHING. If you are a Westerner living in Egypt your whole existence is spent proving your reputation to strangers. They have their opinion and you have to prove them wrong.

Egypt is a very friendly place and Egyptians are the most friendly of people, and they expect you to be different and they allow for that. They accommodate you because you pay them their wage. They know full well that a 'Western' man or woman can get sex easy. Egyptians have to marry first.

Plenty of Egyptians drink and have sex out of marriage too, but that is not the norm or the culture. It is often hidden from family and relatives if it's a male and completely hidden if female.

If you want to be respected you have to look at the way the Egyptian women in general act and behave. Not the clubbers of Cairo, or the Rich brats of the fat cats. They are the minority.

If you plan to marry an Egyptian man you really have to do your homework first.


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Post by lotusflower » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:44 pm

for my 50 piastras' worth!

The first marriage you speak about is between a Muslin man and Muslin woman. This marriage is not performed between Muslim man and Christian woman.

20% of the population of Egypt is Christian and a small % of these are Catholic.

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Post by lotusflower » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:52 pm

Also, traditional as it may be they sound more like a contract marriage.A lot of these marriages fail as the couple have no understanding of each other before the marriage and unfortunately, there is very little love in these relationships and with time sometimes the love does not always grow between them! Sad but true.

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Post by LivinginLuxor » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:23 pm

Christians only form about 10% of the population on average, but in some areas of Upper Egypt, that could rise to 30%.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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Post by Rachel turner » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:11 am

Not sure where i fit in in all this , because although have the orfi marriage and aim to get married in December, im not sure what to expect, or what happens in my case.
My husband wants to marry me with me wearing a wedding dress, which im not really comfortable with., he also explained about the coiffeur and the meeting with the family and ladies, and he has party with men etc. He is throwing a big party in his village for me and my family and his friends and family etc.
I dont want to look like a doll or mutton dressed as lamb either - but want to be respectable. So im quite worried about it.-
What do you wear?? because if he gets me this dress if its anything like the galabya he got me i will look like mama cass. ,

:oops::oops:
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Post by LivinginLuxor » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:52 am

Now that does seem like a traditional marriage here - the bride generally looks like a wedding cake! The celebrations go on for 3 days or longer, with much music and merry-making.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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Post by Countessa » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:42 am

A very accurate summary Ebikatsu :) So many people rush into 'relationships' here without knowing the first thing about the culture and how their actions can affect them, sad really.
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Post by Ebikatsu » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:47 am

lotusflower wrote:Also, traditional as it may be they sound more like a contract marriage.A lot of these marriages fail as the couple have no understanding of each other before the marriage and unfortunately, there is very little love in these relationships and with time sometimes the love does not always grow between them! Sad but true.
Yes I was outlining Muslim marriage because that is the one I am familiar with. Sorry I should have stated that in the title.

The divorce rate is on par with the UK at 50%.
So being engaged and living together for years and everything else you can do in the West is no guarantee of success.
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Post by Ebikatsu » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:07 am

Rachel turner wrote:Not sure where i fit in in all this , because although have the orfi marriage and aim to get married in December, im not sure what to expect, or what happens in my case.
My husband wants to marry me with me wearing a wedding dress, which im not really comfortable with., he also explained about the coiffeur and the meeting with the family and ladies, and he has party with men etc. He is throwing a big party in his village for me and my family and his friends and family etc.
I dont want to look like a doll or mutton dressed as lamb either - but want to be respectable. So im quite worried about it.-
What do you wear?? because if he gets me this dress if its anything like the galabya he got me i will look like mama cass. ,

:oops::oops:
Oh God I feel for you Rachel.

These dresses are not bought by brides in 99% of the cases. They are worn over and over again and I have heard horror stories of sweat marks and old make up stains left on them!! :? They are hired from a rental shop.

You will most likely look like a meringue with bride of Frankenstein make up on your face.

My advice would be this, and they know your culture is different. Insist on this if you have to.

Buy a simple white shift dress in UK that you can use again.

Do your own make up and waxing etc. Stay away from Coiffure!!!!!unless you want to look Rocky Horror. The coiffure reuse make up sponges and the make up they use is 'one pot of porcelain slap' for all the customers. Lipsticks are used on all customers!! be warned!!

Tell your fiance that in your culture you do not have a crowd all standing over you whilst your bikini line is being waxed!!!! It is done in private. If they want to do something they can paint your nails or do the henna. Tell him to explain that to the women. They should be fine about it. They might think you a bit strange because preparation is a big deal here as if showing off gifts in public!! :roll: But stick to your guns.

The night before the wedding is the waxing etc and to be honest I think in some cases they do the make up and sleep in it as they often look like the Joker in Batman :lol:

The women all pamper you and you all drink tea's and juices and eat cakes etc. Be firm. If you don't want henna say so.

You could bring some nice nail polishes and little glittery applique rhinestones from Boot's and let the women do it to themselves. That will keep them quiet, and their wet nail polish from lifting your skirt to check your groin!! :P
Bring little scrubs and lotions and potions and they can enjoy using the products. maybe bring straightening tongs they can try out on themselves. Waffle iron, serum's. They will love doing all that and hopefully leave you in peace! :mrgreen:
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Post by Countessa » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:13 am

Ebikatsu wrote:Do your own make up and waxing etc. Stay away from Coiffure!!!!!unless you want to look Rocky Horror. The coiffure reuse make up sponges and the make up they use is 'one pot of porcelain slap' for all the customers. Lipsticks are used on all customers!! be warned!!
Second, third & fourth this, Rachel - avoid the coiffure at all costs!!!!! Let's just say they've never heard of the 'less is more' theory! I've been brave enough to try it twice (when attending family weddings) and, omg, first time I looked like a man in drag; second time I shudder even thinking about - they did dark make up all round my eyes - even my children thought I was scary :oops: :lol:

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Post by Ebikatsu » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:15 am

Sorry


Step 2

The PG (potential groom)'s mother will make arrangements to speak to the PB's mother. They will sit over coffee in the PB's home and the PB's mother will tell her that her son is interested in marrying her daughter. MARRY being the operative word, dating does not exist in this culture..
The PB's mother then tells her daughter that there is a man asking to marry her and if she knows him she will say yes or no. If she does not know him the PG's family will then go to the PB"s home for a get together. This will include siblings and parents. They all sit down and ask each other about their children. academics, jobs, career path, has he a home prepared, furniture, they will also discuss health, moods, characters of the couple. This is all done in the lounge.

It should read this

Step 2

The PG (potential groom)'s mother will make arrangements to speak to the PB's mother. They will sit over coffee in the PB's home and the PB's mother will tell her that her son is interested in marrying her daughter. MARRY being the operative word, dating does not exist in this culture..
The PB's mother then tells her daughter that there is a man asking to marry her and if she knows him she will say yes or no to a meeting. If she agrees to the meeting the PG's family will then go to the PB"s home for a get together.
This will include siblings and parents. They all sit down and ask each other about their children. academics, jobs, career path, has he a home prepared, furniture, they will also discuss health, moods, characters of the couple. This is all done in the lounge.
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Post by Rachel turner » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:02 am

OMG:cry:I knew about the coiffure - being a little OTT - ,
my eldest daughter is a beautician luckily so she will be doing my make up now - my husband seems to be making arrangements for me , but i will let him know that she will do all my bits thankyou;);)
I dont mind drinking tea and getting involved with the ladies with harmless nail painting .:lol::lol::lol:
The dress terrifies me :- i can imagine looking like a fairy cake with a cherry on top, im not frilly so a simple shift dress would be ideal.

EB i think your post needs to be a sticky as it helps people understand whats involved.
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Post by Ebikatsu » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:13 am

I'll ask Keefy ;)
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Post by Goddess » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:20 am

Rachel turner wrote: I dont mind drinking tea and getting involved with the ladies with harmless nail painting .:lol::lol::lol:
Nail painting with Egyptian ladies is never harmless!!

I ended up with Hooker red toe and finger nails on my wedding night.

My sister in law did my hair and makeup and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever looked so odd in all my life. Felt like Alice Cooper. :cry:
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Post by Ebikatsu » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:44 am

Goddess wrote:
Rachel turner wrote: I dont mind drinking tea and getting involved with the ladies with harmless nail painting .:lol::lol::lol:
Nail painting with Egyptian ladies is never harmless!!

I ended up with Hooker red toe and finger nails on my wedding night.

My sister in law did my hair and makeup and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever looked so odd in all my life. Felt like Alice Cooper. :cry:
:lol:

Here are some nice understated Egyptian wedding dresses Rachel. :?




note the trip to the coiffure is the bride wearing the wedding dress so it might get a bit itchy if some of the hair drops down your cleavage when they trim it.

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Post by pinkmagic » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:38 pm

OMG! There very 80's arnt they? You could always scour the local charity shops Rachel! Seriously though, buy your own dress before you get to Egypt. Monsoon do some nice wedding dresses.

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Post by Ebikatsu » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:56 pm

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Post by Kronkite » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:16 pm

Ebikatsu wrote:Image

O M G !!! :))) This dress is abysmal :urm: meringue anyone ?

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Post by Rachel turner » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:31 pm

I have ran off now- my future husband was in one of those pictures........:lol::lol::lol::lol:just kidding....

your all invited anyway- - and if anyone wants any beauty products or bits done ,-Dec23rd to january 6th - please book now.:):):)
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Post by Mimimay » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:03 pm

Now as you may already know I do love my make up and I don't like it au naturel either :lol: More is definately more for me :oops:
But seriously I do like to see that I am wearing make up otherwise what's the point ;) but I don't like how the locals do theirs. Keep thinking when my Niece marries soon I may go the coiffure and have a bash :) I've a feeling I may end up taking over though :lol:
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