Village Wedding 2: The Relatives

There is a custom in the village lands of the Taurus. Engaged couples do not speak to one another in crowds, or in view of others. Their love-making, their speaking together, is secret. And this was one of the reasons that they [Halil and Zeynep] came to the village by night.

–From Yashar Kemal’s retelling of Alageyik (p213). My translation from the Turkish.

6:30 pm on Saturday: While the warm-up dancing continued over in the schoolyard, close friends and relatives of the groom gathered to eat in his family’s house. Out on the street in front of the house, Eren’s older sister Güleser paused for a smile, carrying her daughter Ayşe on her back.

When I first met Eren more than 10 years ago, Güleser was still engaged to be married to her future husband, Mehmet. Their engagement would last nearly two years, but in keeping with village custom, the couple never spoke to each other, especially when Güleser’s father was around. Mehmet would visit her house every day, often going out to help weed the vineyards throughout the afternoon, without ever speaking a word or even making eye contact with his fiancée.

I can only speculate whether the two of them ever happened to secretly meet, away from any prying eyes. But I should note there is a popular Turkish sitcom named “Fathers Are The Last To Hear.”

Canon EOS Rebel XTi, ISO-200, F/5.6, 1/125 sec.

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