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While some go all out to prepare for a wedding, others can go to any heights – literally!

Words by Likhitha P Nair    Photgraphs from Various Sources

Famous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham once had a humorous conversation about marriage with his grumpy doll ‘Walter’, who compares a marriage to drinking Slurpy. He says, “The first couple of sips, it’s like “Boy this is really good! I’m glad I did this!” Then you keep drinking, it goes right to your head, and you go “Ow, Ow, Ooooow! What the hell was I thinking? Someone kill me, please!” You may think that is quiet inappropriate, but then you cannot argue with a doll, can you? There are over a thousand kinds of potatoes on this big planet, and there are as many kinds of wedding traditions too. If Walter thought marriage could be brain-numbing, then we wonder what he would say about these! Hold your breaths, here you go.

The ‘black-over’ of a Scottish Bride

It is common knowledge around the world that a bride-to-be spends many hours before her wedding in a myriad of pampering and beauty treatments. But sadly for a Scottish bride, all that time in the parlour is going to be wasted on just one ritual. In a strange custom called ‘blackening the bride’ where her friends and relatives will toss at her every nasty thing they can see around them – curdled milk, dead fish, spoiled food and other discarded, disgusting items are put into a bucket and poured over the bride’s head. The belief is that this will prepare her for all the bad experiences and humiliation that she might have to face in her marriage. Imagine a scottish wife’s argument during the couple’s first fight – “I got rotten meat over me for THIS!” We feel for you, Scottish sisters!

Cry me a river!

You know how the shiny tears falling down the bride’s face creates ‘awww’ moments in the wedding album? Well, the Tuja community in China takes it up a notch. Starting a whole month before the wedding, the bride starts to cry for one hour every day. Ten days into the ordeal the mom joins the picture, and then ten days after that, her grandmother. By the end of the month every female in the family is crying alongside the bride. Though this sounds like a really sad affair, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The set of differently-pitched crying usually creates a very musical tone. After all, life is about making the best out of all that is sad and depressing. So we agree the ideology is quite impressive.

No toilet for the newlyweds

If you are someone who runs to the toilet when nervous, you probably shouldn’t consider getting married in Indonesia. Indonesian honeymooners are housebound for three days and nights following the wedding and not permitted to use the toilet! The couple is kept a watch upon and is allowed minimal amounts of food and drink. This honeymoon house arrest is believed to produce a happy marriage full of healthy babies. They believe that not practicing the three-day and night ritual would bring terrible luck to the couple – a broken marriage, infidelity or death of their children at a young age. As scary as this may seem, Indonesian tradition has very adorable bits too. For example the groom isn’t allowed to see the bride’s face until he sings several love songs. The curtain separating the couple is raised only after the musical requirement is met, and then they can see each other on a dais. Sacrificing basic hygiene definitely shows some serious commitment. Hats off to Indonesian couples!