Anyways, so yesterday I came home from school and I was informed that I would be going to a party for the engaged couple at the second house. I was like, "A wedding?" And my little Georgian brother goes, "Yes, the wedding!!" And I go, "What? They move really fast here!" I think I get confused often for two reasons 1. The language barrier and 2. Georgians are so spontaneous. I honestly would not have been surprised if I got there and there was a white gown and the flower girl ready to go. However, it turned out it was just an engagement party, and I was somewhat relieved since I didn't bring any heels with me!
My family and I came into the house that evening, and the chairs were already full of people and the table was stacked with food. Since I'm treated as a special guest still, they quickly got me a chair and glass of wine. I quickly scanned the room and found the newly engaged couple with ease. They seemed to be in a happy daze and full of joy. Then Nino said ok time for you to toast the couple if you want. I literally just met the couple 5 minutes ago and I was already toasting them! I stood up from my seat and mumble some words like "Best wishes, and I wish you both a long and healthy marriage!" Nino translated for me, and everyone seemed pleased so I was relieved.
The newly engaged couple
Soon after I began to observe the people in the room. I notice that all the men were on one side of the table and the women were on the other. Nino told me that this is an old tradition that isn't observed that often, but it is tonight. It was also strange that only the men gave toasts. Well besides me, but since I'm a guest I've notice I get more respect than the average Georgian woman. Every time a man toasted they all stood and it usually was some drawn out speech and then only the men drank. I was the only woman at the table with wine!
All the men standing for another toast
I asked Nino how old the couple was and she said the girl was 18 and the boy was 22. I was shocked! First off they look like at least 5 years older than me, and I just could never envision myself getting married so young. In the car ride home I asked Nino since she is 16 if she was going to get married that young, and she said "NOO!!!" She said first she must complete university and then everything else will fall into place. I really admired her when she said that because its obvious that young marriage is still very popular in Georgia, but she is determined to get an education and see the world outside of Samtredia. I realized we have a lot more in common than I first thought, and I'm looking forward to getting to know her more and being a positive influence on her during my stay here.
Me and Nino at the party...Girl Power!!