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I can’t believe its been nearly two weeks since I last blogged.  Where does the time go eh?

Well, Valentines day came and went, followed closely by our second third wedding anniversay, which we both forgot!

I say ‘second third,’ as we did it twice.

We’d been dating year before Murat mentioned the ‘M’ word.   We were in the car on the way home having just been fed by his mum in the village when he says something like ;

‘We have to buy a sheep’

‘ok’ I reply as is my tendancy to just go along with things

He then explains that its for our wedding sacrifice, at which I sit up and pay attention.  It seems our frequent visits to the village have provoked gossip.  We are after all ‘living in sin’ and parading that for all to see and the family are now making not so subtle hints about our marital status, or lack thereof.

Im not a huge advocate of marriage.  I don’t think a piece of paper can bond you to someone for life, which, is pretty evident by the divorce rates.  However, I do know that I want to spend the rest of my life with this man so if Its a little piece of paper that will keep everyone happy, so be it.

I ask what we need to do and he says he will arrange.  I then ask what Im supposed to wear and he tells me his mum will sort it out.  I don’t really give it another thought apart from wondering what sort of wedding dress I’ll get.

The day arrives.  Ive been to the beauty shop and had a leg wax, eyebrow thread and pedicure.  I’m thinking the only flesh other than my bare face the Imam will see is my feet, so I make the effort.

Returning home, I flop on the sofa to watch a bit of telly while admiring my new pedicure. Mu returns from the village and tells me we need to be at the village by 5pm.  I show him my hair free legs and wiggle my freshly painted toenails at him, then realise It’s a mistake when he laughs and says I will now need to wear socks.  Duh!  Of course, we are being married by the Imam and nail polish would constitute make up!

Before the ceremony, we need to shower, the Muslim way; an ‘Abtest’.  I type the words and sequence on the laptop then take it into the bathroom with me to begin.

Now I have two choices:

a)      turn the tap on, sit on the toilet seat and have a quick game of spider solitaire while making the occasional gargling noise or

b)      perform the Abtest as instructed like a good girl

Of course, I do it properly!

At the village, I am sitting in the bedroom waiting to be wowed by my frock.  However I am handed a  floor length brown and cream skirt that belongs to Murat’s mum and a black long sleeved top belonging to his sister Ramsey.  I have forgotten to bring an elastic band for my hair so aunt Ayfare unwraps her head and donates hers,  after which she ties on a white linen bonnet which looks remarkably like a swimming cap.  I chance a quick look in the mirror where ‘Gollum’ stares back at me.  Ramsey then wraps a cream and brown scarf around my head and secures it with a broach under my chin and dress pins around the shoulders of my top to secure it.  Another look in the mirror and I’m greeted by Hilda Ogden.

To complete the outfit I am given a pair of socks to cover up that silly nail polish. They are bright orange and yellow striped.

Fortunately, not even as a young girl did I dream of a big white wedding.  The thought of wearing a merengue and parading down the aisle of a packed church leaves me cold. That would actually be my worst nightmare so I am not at all disappointed, just ever so slightly amused.

The Imam has arrived now, he is not what I expect…….. no frock.

We kneel on the floor in front of him and a couple of Amcas (uncles) who are acting as witnesses. My legs are already going numb.

We give our parents’ names and our names and as usual, mine causes some confusion (the word kim in Turkish translates as ‘who’).  The Imam then explains (as relayed by Murat) that I am agreeing to marry a Muslim man and as such I should believe in Jesus, all of his disciples and the last prophet Mohamed.   I nod to show I understand and he then reels of a very long list of words for me to repeat, which I do, three times.  This repeated again three times by Mu and three times by our witnesses.

Time for the vows; The Imam reels off a speech which includes both our parents’ names and I understand he is asking if I, Kym, daughter of: parents’ names, agree to be the wife of Murat, son of: parents’ names.  I have been prepped to answer “Kabul Etim”.  This is again repeated 3 times by both me and Mu.  All Hands are then lifted face upward at chest level while the Imam says a prayer.

That’s it, all done; I am now married in the eyes of God.  Mu tells me I can now get up which is easier said than done as I can’t feel my legs!

So that was our first marriage and of course, it is not legally recognized.  However, for the family, being good devout Muslims, this one is very important to them.

We managed the civil ceremony six months later.  This done with little fuss one afternoon when we just nipped into the Nufus, signed the register and picked up our marriage book.

Our second of any anniversary will always fall four days after Valentines Day, something I really should remember.  However, one present is enough, just like one wedding would have been!

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