My Turkish friend A. got married. The most unusual marriage I have ever seen, but then again, I haven’t seen that many. The bride was in a borrowed purple dress with great shiny purple heels underneath, while groom T. was in jeans. Short ceremony, few friends, lunch afterwards, that was it. Now both the families try to convince the couple to have a big wedding celebration. Why? For gold. Gold is the traditional Turkish wedding gift. You either give a golden coin with a certain value, or a bracelet, necklace or earrings, so the couple will have something for a rainy day. Both families have attended quite a few weddings already, and they expect the gold they gave will come back to the family on the day their sons and daughters get married. That’s one of the reasons why Turkish weddings are big: if you attend many weddings and give gold, then all those people will come to your family weddings with the shiny stuff too. Some people even have lists of what they gave to and got from whom, to keep some balance. The system keeps itself alive nicely. At least, when your children cooperate. Bride A. and groom T. have resisted so far, but can they keep up their resistance…? I bet not.

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