Wedding in Cairo
by Tatsuru Kimura
weddings have become common in many part of the world.
A wedding scene that I saw in Cairo looks also somewhat
familiar to me because both the groom and the bride wore western
clothes. However, it still contains some
factors that are
unusual for me.
I had a chance to
see two couples’ weddings successively at the Meridian Hotel in Cairo. The grooms wore a suit and the bride wore
a western-style white dress. One of the
brides wore a scarf on her head but the other bride did not. There were about fifty guests for each
wedding. All of male guests wore suits
but most of the female guests wore traditional dress.
The number of male guests was far greater than
female guests. The processes of the two
weddings are almost same. The wedding
couple and guest made a circle, and men including the groom danced
again. Men only danced with men. It looks like only men are welcomed to join
the dance circle. A woman tried to join
the circle dance, but a man got rid of her at once.
Although finally some women joined the
circle dance, men still dominated the majority of the dance circle. I guessed that women are not supposed to
dance in that circumstance traditionally, because some of the women
embarrassment for dancing and some of the guests showed their confusion.
from the dance looked like a kind of discrimination because the women
dance. In Ethnical
Consideration in Anthropology and Archaeology, or Relativism
and Justice for All, Merrilee H. Salmon insists that female
circumcision in Africa is a method
for men to
against women. Although
the degrees of invasion of the basic
human rights are significantly different between these two issues, I
found in the wedding dance an inequality between male and female, which
in every society with traditional values.
showed social change such as westernization that is represented by the
dress. On the other hand, they also
showed traditional values such as excluding women from the dance. I think that weddings represent each society
and their change, thus my observations offer a glimpse into Egypt’s
changing cultural dynamics.