By Timothy Blake English II What Is Marriage ? Marriage is the formal union of a man and woman, recognized by law, when they become husband and wife It celebrates togetherness and love between husbands, wives, families, and friends They can happen anytime, anywhere and are just as diverse as the couples who come together to share their lives, but they are celebrated differently around the world, such as Afghanistan Engagement The grooms family members and elders meet the bride at her home and gives her sweets and gifts and gives her family members money and clothing The brides family hosts a meal, the request is then made formally for the girls hand from the father of the groom to the brides father, he then accepts the groom as his servant Families discuss matters of expenses, jewelry given to the bride, and other necessities Between engagement and marriage Groom and grooms family buys jewelry, clothes, household items, money, and wedding expenses If groom cannot bear wedding expenses, then he must serve and live with his future father in law until the debt is paid The groom and bride do not meet yet, but sends gifts through family and friends The Henna Night: Takht e Khina A function held a few days before the wedding or on the preceding night, by the brides home The grooms family prepares baskets of henna (powdered leaves used to dye hair, fabric, or skin) and carries it to the brides home, and children carry baskets decorated in flowers and candles The grooms elder brother seats him by the bride in the dais and the rituals begin The bride is teased by the female relatives of the groom and has to pay toll, but the bride can close her right hand and refuse decoration unless the groom opens her hand with force or promises gifts, the groom then puts the henna in the brides hand, covers it with a white cloth and leaves the party Ceremony marriage customs demand that the festivities are spread over three days and ceremonies are conducted between 6 pm and 2 am Consists of livestock, poverty, and wealth The bride and the groom exchanges vows Priest reads sections from Quran and helps the couple through the ceremony. Friends and family participate as well These ceremonies usually take place in villages and if so they take place at the grooms home Men and women dance eat and celebrate together Similar to western marriage reception Usually hosted by grooms family Male and female guests are separated and sent to different areas for entertainment The bride and groom walk the isle after dinner, to be showered with gifts and sweets They the exchange rings and cut the cake after going through several rituals The bride and groom are then conducted to their wedding chamber the next morning and left alone… "The Engagement, Henna and Nikah in Afghan Marriage Customs." Afghan Marriage Customs. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2013. "Afghan Weddings." Afghan Weddings. N.p., 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2013. "Assyrian Voice Forum." Very Interesting Photo from Afghanistan. Assyrian Connection? N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2013.