Dateline: 21 June 2016
I am conveyed at legal speeds in the car of my business partner to a wedding in the deep countryside. Legal speeds for although the corrupt traffic cops are being disposed of, cameras on tall poles are taking their place.
Even so, at one hundred kilometres an hour on a Ukrainian motorway, the venue for the wedding reception slides by in the corner of my eye because the GPS is incorrect.
No matter. A reversal of motion and backwards down the slip road marked for entry we go to park outside a small grey painted café with the ubiquitous corrugated roof.
Outside, in the still warm air under trees lit with fairy lights the guests are dancing to traditional music.An outer circle of guests move to the left, and inner circle of the beautiful bride in her princess dress of white, her groom, tall and proud in his suit and tie and the best man and bridesmaid - identified by broad ribbons of silk – dance together holding hands and moving right.
Apart from the always present snapper, with his one legged tripod and mounted video lights blazing, this celebration is surely unchanged for centuries.
I am told there were games earlier, of string passed through people’s clothing and tightening to bring the crowd closer together with whoops of laughter; easier today, I suspect, with less and shorter clothing.
Thankfully our cameo appearance meant I did not have to participate. My elasticated skinny jeans and subsequent contortions would have created much humour for those with formal invites.
To tradition: from America they said, though I know it is from England, the Bride faces away from the guests and throws her bouquet backwards. The recipient, according to lore, will be the next to be married. On this occasion the recipient was the Bride’s niece – a basketball playing teenager who leaped above the assemblage to receive the prize with her long strong arms and sure hands. As she is but twelve it may be some time before the next wedding.
Slavian Tradition, and an early introduction to oral sex.
I was told, by expatriate men, when I first visited Eastern Europe that Eastern European men did not like, nor practice, oral sex on their partners.
I adjudged this to mean that metro-sexuality, and even sharing the washing of dishes, had not yet crossed the former Iron Curtain.
No matter, at the wedding, and in front of me, the Bridegroom had lifted the front of his Bride’s fairytale dress whilst she pushed her hips forward and his head disappeared between her thighs.
My thoughts, as he seemingly nuzzled, were on the lines of god’s blood, do we also stand around the bridal bed to ensure virginity and marriage consummation?
Fortunately not so. The nuzzling turned to teeth snapping pulling and the groom removed, with his teeth, the garter from his new wife’s thigh.
The garter, removed, was then thrown over his head and caught by a man signifying nothing that I could determine.
Now I know why men in Eastern Europe do not, supposedly, practice oral sex on their partners. It reminds them too much of their marriage day, and how sweet women suckered them in to rule their lives forever. And maybe washing dishes.