Zanskari  Wedding

After several days of expectation there came the day “Z” and we are supposed to witness a real Zanskari wedding. We are not the only ones who can’t wait to see that ceremony. Also our little girls are getting overexcited and announce themselves čuty (free). (...) We try to persuade them to come to school. The wedding is an exciting event for every single inhabitant of our valley. Nobody is able to tell us how long this ceremony is going to last. However, once celebrating, they celebrate well and long – six or seven days is nothing out of ordinary.

(...) The feast takes place in neighboring village called Sky (or Ki) from where the bride comes. We all set out to that village being accompanied by all our teachers – private teacher Tashi, governmental teachers Chogyal and Tsering. Another private teacher called Gompo comes later.

Nobody cares about the dress code. All are dressed as going to school.  Only for Zuza and me it is that a big opportunity to wear our festive clothesJ All our little girls are wearing colourful trousers, tunics and embroidered waistcoats. On the contrary, the boys are wearing jeans, coats, caps – little fashion chaps. All people look great. The only ones wearing traditional Zanskari dresses are village women, singers and dancers coming on horses from a several kilometers outlying groom´s village called Yal.

Both singers and dancers are wearing yellow, ankle length coats and a strange head decoration resembling copper pot.

Along with other women we hurry to treat these singers to local goodies – chang and tsampa. Their performance is admirable considering the amount of chang they drink.

The only people missing at the wedding are both the bride and the groom. The bride is denied to take part in the feast. All ceremony is very sad and emotional for her since she has to shed tears over leaving her natal home and setting out to unknown future. That comes the following day. The feast carries on since early morning. The groom’s men are coming to take away the bride to their village.

On that day Zuza and me are the only Kargyak inhabitants. All villagers are still enjoying themselves in neighboring Sky. And we have to admit that our little girls were right again announcing themselves čuty. In the morning there is the only person coming to school and that is our teacher Cella. Neither a single student turned up, nor any other teacher bothered.


Juley, Juley

       Zuza and Péťa

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