Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Old Albanian Marriage Etiquette

When a damsel arrives at marriageble age, her parents publish the fact among their friends and acquaintances. Should no suitor come forward, it rests with her brothers to find one. A brother thus circumstanced will sometimes come up to a male friend in the street and make the complimentary proposal then and there. “You are just the man I wanted to see.”— thus goes the abrupt formula on these occasions— “my sister is now fourteen years old ; you must marry her.” – Photo Pinterest

Albanian marriage arrangements are very peculiar. When a damsel arrives at marriageble age, her parents publish the fact among their friends and acquaintances. Should no suitor come forward, it rests with her brothers to find one. A brother thus circumstanced will sometimes come up to a male friend in the street and make the complimentary proposal then and there. “You are just the man I wanted to see.”— thus goes the abrupt formula on these occasions— “my sister is now fourteen years old ; you must marry her.” As etiquette forbids a plump refusal, the gentleman thus honored, gives a sort of half acquiescence, and then hurries off to instruct some old lady to act as go-between. 

Should he be satisfied with the report made, after duo inquiry, by this adviser, the wedding is arranged, but not until the very last moment is the expectant bridegroom allowed to see his future spouse, and then it would be contrary to the prescriptions of society for him to draw back, however unprepossessing she might prove to be. After the performance of the ceremony, a very curious piece of etiquette comes into play. Among Asiatic people generally, it is the rule for the bride-elect to feign coyness, but among the Arnauts, the bridegroom has to make this pretense. After the marriage feast is over, and the newly-made wife has withdrawn, her husband lingers behind, and not until he has been subjected to a variety of rough usage by her relatives, are the prescriptions of etiquette considered to be sufficiently complied with, to admit of his following the lady. – Sacramento Daily Union, 1880

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