Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tag.. You're IT!

I've been busy the past few weeks with preparations for a family wedding. Here are a couple questions for you though:

* Why is it that we always seem to take the 'wrong' traits/habits from the West??

In the past, someone gets married, you buy them a wedding gift when they move into their new home. End of story.

NOW, there's a bridal shower, embarak, baby shower, not forgetting all the money that gets spent on clothes, make up, hair, accessories for the engagement AND wedding party! PEOPLE, please... you want to get married, enjoy.. congratulations.. but spare us the empty wallets in the process! :)

Instead, how come people don't pick up "punctuality" from the West?!? Last night we had a gathering for the bride; people showed up THREE HOURS LATE!

* Why is it that people feel compelled to tell you 'el fal lech' (hope ur next!)??

What if I don't want to be next? What if I'm completely at peace with my singlehood and am not interested in moving to the "State of Matrimony"? And the sad thing, if I dare say anything to the effect of 'not interested', or the look on my faces gives it away, I get a LOOONG lecture about how 'YOU MUST!'

ok... so tag, I'm it!


Temetwir said...

"il fal lech" isnt entirely sincere u know, its not supposed to be from heart to heart, nor taken to heart.. its like when u almost trip and someone says "kha6ach ilso", or when u get a car and someone says "mabrook".. actually, u'd expect them to say it

interestingly, their not-saying-it leaves much richer, though vaguer, implications (in the scientific sense) left to be determined, not only by u the addressee, but also everyone present witnessing the "interaction"

hence, the obligation of "il fal lech"
what we have, therefore, is a breakdown in communication on ur part .. and if ud allow me to say, on the part of most females

there u go.. thats a "Western-ingly scientific" answer to ur (rhetorical) question of why ppl are compelled to say it

Temetwir said...

yeah.. so,

what is a bridal shower? "istegbaal" ?
what is a "embarak" ?

MSB said...

temetwir: which makes it even more 'blah' in my mind (the fact that it's said so systematically).. there r still other things that can be said like 'Allah Edeem el afra7' or anything else along those lines!! (mind u, they'd be talking to someone completely different wila marrah wa7da they'd turn and throw the EL FAL LECH!! hence, throwing me off guard.. )

allow me to make one point clear: i dont care one way or the other.. whether it's said or not. i just dont like the fact that it's become the same as saying "Yer7amch Allah" when someone sneezes!

ok.. on to the definitions:

bridal shower: when close friends/family of the bride throw a small gathering PRIOR to the wedding and 'shower' the bride with gifts that she can use on her honeymoon... some 'practical' gifts.. others, not so practical.

embarak: after the wedding, the bride has an 'istegbaal' where she sets two days and whoever wants to come to congratulate her can come during these days... of course, ppl come bearing gifts.. mostly, stuff she can use for the new house/apt...

Anonymous said...

Hello again ma'am, you still didn't answer my question, if you don't mind that is.

KJB said...

Hehe , i couldn't help but giggle reading your post - magool ela Allah esa3dich hal esboo3 or esbo3ain until it's all over.
Oh and by the way "El fal lech inshallah" :p looool (j/k)
I know how we are with timings and that is why when i plan something out i tell ppl the meeting is 1 or 2 hours before i actually intend to go out 3ashan they end up coming on time:p - what to say though - and then 3ad when someone non arab criticizes us about it - we say 'oh they are stereotyping us" :p.
Not only that- even the gifts these days that ppl buy the bride are mo 3ala kaifhom - the bride will write a list of things she requires for her new apt. or whatever and the list goes around and ppl tick off next to the thing they want to buy -wala 7alah!

Hussa-G said...

bridal shower?! We have this trend too in Kuwait. I guess Bridal showers have invaded the GCC countries. Fathers beware. Mothers my God help you.

We as Arabs especially GCC Arabs love to imitate the west in everything bad. It's part of our nature. For example internet, we Arabs use it for anything bad from IRC chat to porn.

Wallah enfshel. Mako faydeh fenh.

And for you second question, I was in you shoes when I was 24 years old. They thought 24 (old maid). They asked me that question so many times that I start to hate going out. Then I got married. And they stop asking me that. But then they start to ask me when I will be pregnant. :| I figure they never stop asking questions. They just invent new question to ask you. They are very creative.

Nice to see you honey.

MSB said...

anonymous: the answer to ur question isnt something that can be summed up in a comment section. it's prolly best to find a site that explains it. do u read arabic? if u let me know which language, i can try to lookup a website that may have an explanation.

kjb: wait till ur back and u start getting the same!! :)

as for the gift register, that's actually one of the things i like. it's only sent out to those who ask for it.. those who are metwahgeen and dont know what to buy.. and it's better to get something that is needed as opposed to a gift that's going to be placed in a storage area somewhere.

MSB said...

hussa-g: hala beech!!

yeah, the questions never end.. they just go thru a face a lift and come back in another form 'when r u getting engaged?' 'when r u getting married?' 'when r u going to have a kid?' 'when r u gonna bring a brother/sister for ur kid?' blah blah..

adry, adry, some say it out of CONCERN and love.. others say it out of fethool.. and some, just for the heck of it.

i'm going to start getting creative next time 3ashan they stop asking me... next time someone says 'yala la, meta bet3arseen?' i'll say 'when r u gonna have a child?'.. if i feel like being mean, i wont tell u what i'd ask! ;)

June said...

Hi darling! The overspending happens on the other side too (Christmas I think. People go nuts apparently). The instinctive "el faal lech" is just a thing people say. The way we talk over here is basically, we do pleasantries littered with insincere bullshit. The greetings go on for about 5 hours, the air kissing for an additional 3 hours. Just the way things are love.

Anyway, do you know how many times I have actually said it myself pre-emptively? "El faal lech 7abeebti!" only to be given a confused look and a feeble, "But I'm married... Shouldn't it be you?" Totally catches people off-guard.

Love it love it love it! Love throwing people off.

Temetwir said...

actually, it really is pretty close to saying yer7amk allah when some1 sneezes :/

anyway, i know abt the istegbaal and what goes on .. but the bridal shower is new to me
chena dala3 o mesakha to have both?

el milcha before the wedding and u gather family and friends, mo i6laabah ilsalfa y3ni

MSB said...

june: wil fal lech 7abibty! :* 3o2bal ma nefra7 feech o nakhdemech fil afra7 wil layalee el mela7 :P

there's a diff btwn buying gifts for christmas (similar to giving out 3eedeyas for Eid!) vs buying gifts left/right and center for the SAME occassion almost!

temetwir: exactly about the bridal shower..! beda3 el gharb spreading like wildfire.. "goom 9al, la w'Allah.. goom et3asha, ee w'Allah!"

i didnt get what u mean by the last line of ur comment.. but i'm talking about how some ppl throw a party for the 7enna, another for the melcha.. then a few months later they throw another party for the jelwa and another for the wedding.. ya3ney 4-5 celebrations for one event.

Dr.Lost said...


u cracked me up... yes why dont we pick up punctuality?? i hate it when ppl r late.. and it seems 2 be a trend in the arab world !

MSB said...

dr.lost: hey doc! tell me about it! it drives me nuts.. especially that i'm normally a punctual person, to the point that if i'm running late, i get really irritated with myself!!! seems like a losing battle tho! :/

Faith said...

loooooool...i still havent heard this estgebal and bridal shower thing, and seriously it is dala3 zayid, and yes its annoying and harmful to wallets

about "elfal lech" it is so systematic and you never know what to say :|
but girls who's dala3 level increases at the moment, try to be cute and say "ooh no im too young, im too cute" oh shutup sweety :|

nice post!

MSB said...

faith: a7san lech ineh u havent heard of them!! and if u do, RUN i tell u, RUN!! :)

oh, and by the way, el fal lech! ;) hehe