My Very Own Syrian Wedding

During Orientation for the school (now almost 3 weeks ago, it seems like it was just yesterday) we had a school-wide performance by a traditional Syrian group. This was the type of song and dance that they would do at a wedding, which means, naturally, they needed a groom. Well, my boss in the science department asked me if I would be the groom for the performance. I said “sure” because he had told me all I would have to do is stand there while the band sang and dance around me.


I got up in front of the school and stood center stage and the band formed around me in a V with me in the center facing the whole school (see picture above). And then they just played music – apparently the groom is the one who is supposed to dance. Well, I stood there for a good 4 minutes awkwardly shaking my shoulder waiting for the repetitive song to end. I guess they weren’t having that, because they kept on playing.


I danced like there was no tomorrow, throwing out all of my good old 7th grade white boy moves, often just settling back into what I call the “rodeo clown”. And then they gave me a stick, and the stick became my crazed dance partner. So, another 3 minutes passes (this was a looooong song) and I’m still up there dancing. FINALLY, students decided to do what happens at a real Syrian wedding and join in. A bunch  formed a dabka line (picture a slower, more rhytmic river dance – people with their arms over each other’s shoulders) came up, surrounded me, lifted me up and then started lifting each other up (at which point I kind of ducked behind the crowd and clapped for the rest of the time).

It was actually a pretty funny experience and I got a lot of compliments for my dancing skillz. The bad part though? I never even got to meet my bride.

Posted on October 4, 2010, in Jordan, Living Abroad. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I thought my mother warned you about these traps!

  2. perhaps it was the engagement and your bride will be at the next one

  1. Pingback: And the [Arabic] Oscar Goes To… « Bowman in Arabia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: