So recently I have had the pleasure (sarcasm intended) of experiencing an engagement (a Rasam). Yes, people I have got engaged, engaged to be married *slaps herself to get these words out.* Its happened. How did that happen. Oh boy…should you really have to know?
Just so you asked, You know the usual. A candle light dinner with the guy on his knees (begging for his life) with a ring in his hand while I blush looking at him with dreamy eyes ( and a knife in my hand).
Well he is gonna beg for his life at some point of his life. Might as well start now. And I did have a knife in my hand ( in my imagination) which was later used to cut the hot chocolate cake ( which never existed).
Alright enough of fancy imagination. Haha…. I know for a minute there I really got you…. Sorry 🙂
Reality check : I am an asian.
Severe reality check : I am a Pakistani for heaven’s sake. How dare I even imagine that.
So I am a Pakistani and engagements are a big affair. Frankly everything is a big affair if you are a Pakistani. We will go onto that in later blogs now that I will be having more of this new experiences.
Anyway, what was this blog about? Oh yes, engagements. I thought why not take you on a journey through a Pakistani wedding with all the there are to it. Not mine necessarily but narrative through my incident (funny I called my engagement an incident, Haha).
Anyway once again. Today, we are talking about Pakistani Engagement (or so as I have experienced it to be.)
It all starts with the usual stuff. Two families decide their relations be better put at stake than to have a risk free relationship for the rest of their lives. Some families think it’s okay for their children not to know about it until it’s all decided by their elders. Lucky for me, both the victims had their full say in this.
We practically know each other for a very long time but I admit it was a tough decision for me at the whole commitment part but then he did sign this “I Shall Marry Whosoever Signs This Certificate” so let’s all give him some credit ( while he can give me his credit card).
You see, when you are a Pakistani, once the decision is confirmed by everyone, our families think it is essential that the entire world know about it, that’s where they hold an event called
Rasam, terminologically means “tradition” and in our Pakistani wedding dictionary it means “letting the entire world know that this girl is taken so all the Aunty jees should stop looking at her as a commodity for one of their own house holds.”
The Rasam is a pre-engagement event that just confirms that these are the couples set to be married.
The news of the Rasam goes viral within flick of seconds. The phone starts going out and starts ringing in and the part of conversation that you hear goes on to something like this (unless you have speakers on) :
“Walaikum Assalam” (Peace be upon you as well as in saying hello back)
“Yes yes, you heard it correct.”
“No. It’s not that ABC, He is xyz’s brother’s wife’s cousin’s nephew.”
“He works for the so and so and studied so and so”
“Khair mubarak” (blessings to you as well as in returning a congrats)
“Well, no we are not having a big event. Just within the house with selected relatives.”
“Oh khair mubarak, khair mubarak. May Allah keep us save from the black eye.”
For the next few hours or days or so, these are the exact sentences that you will keep hearing. Not particularly in the same order though.
Finally the day of Rasam comes.
The girl’s family holds the event in their house and prepares meals for the in-laws (includes the guy’s family and every close relation to him).
The in-laws bring in sweets. It depends on their love and happiness as to what they would like to bring. My in-laws brought sweets, lots of fruits (I guess we don’t need to buy any for the entire month of Ramadan lol), flowers and a cake made by my mom-in-law.
When the house gets filled with the in-laws, the girl is brought into the room. She greets everyone, is hugged and kissed and receives a lot of love ( I don’t know about others but I certainly did).
Then she sits down capturing the attention of everyone. While she is churning with nervousness inside, all the eyes are glued on her. Then the guy’s parents sit next to her and put on a fresh flower bracelet on both of her hands and then give her a piece of sweet.
Next all the other in-laws give her a piece of sweet and there is mouth sweetening among everyone out of happiness.
This is called “Muh Meetha” (sweetening the mouth, sounds way funnier in English).
And this is the Rasam, after which all the guests have dinner.
You see after the Rasam, a girl is not a girl anymore. She is THE GIRL.
She is now expected to behave in the best of her manner ( like she already never was, which in my case, never was). She needs to blush every time her fiance’s name comes up, which will now come up every 2 minutes because somehow people think it’s their duty to talk about her fiance whenever they see her, not to mention the mockery, teasing and nudging with anything related to her fiance.
If she doesn’t blush and promptly replies back to the taunts and teasing, she is too bold (a less rude way of telling her that she is shameless).
You cannot talk to your fiance out loud in public even though you may have spent years talking to him before, in public. If you do so, your conversation with your fiance will be followed by many eyes glued on you and ears reaching out for you. You will hear fake coughs and sneaky comments.
Every relationship changes after the Rasam. Your fiance’s family members’ name will never be used as reference. Aunt and uncle won’t do either. Instead, they will now be referred as your sister-in-law, your father-in-law, your mother-in-law and so on.
Anyway this is the FIRST step in a Pakistani wedding. Stay tuned to find out what happens in the life of a Pakistani Girl when she gets into a relation.
Too much of sarcasm for one day, I guess. So, yeah I am engaged people :).
Condolences please everyone 🙂 🙂 🙂