Saturday, June 23, 2012


SERIOUSLY THOUGH, the bride looks like a princess mashAllah.
The photos, as beautiful as they are, don't do her justice. Straight out of Bollywood, I swear.
This evening I went to my first henna party, or mehndi, and I LOVED IT. I'm trying to figure out how my wedding is gonna look like because I keep wanting to steal small things from every cultural tradition (Taco bar, Moroccan furniture, Pakistani dance, Afghan dresses, Arabic Music... I'm a complete mess of wants). It was so colorful tonight and the bride was GLOWING. She was so happy and beautiful mashaAllah. She's got one lucky husband ;)
On my invitation there was a small handwritten note saying "Ladies Only!", and from everything my friends were saying, typically the henna party is a women-only event. I wore black tights, a [VERY] short green dress -apparently everyone usually wears green or yellow, so I was happy I got the color right, very high black heels, and I had on my temporary scarf and cardigan. I didn't find out until I actually walked into the banquet hall that there were men there... I found some of my friends really quick and sat down. Are there usually men at henna parties?? I don't know. Everytime I got up (bathroom, food, talking to the bride) my dress kept riding up! Oh, hijabi problems. Next time I'll know to bring an abayah or something.
Anyway, the mehndi was fantastic. I was the only person wearing non-traditional clothing, but I'm pretty non-traditional, so I decided it was fine and everyone assumed I was Arab so it's all good. I should probably buy a couple shalwar kameeses (spelling?) just to have to prove that I'm half-Pakistani. Or I could just get my nose pierced... which I've sort of been wanting to do anyway, but my mom doesn't really want me to so I can't bring myself to do it.
At every wedding, women can't help but talk about who's getting married next, so that conversation started pretty early in the night. The other night my dad and I were walking through the grocery store and he was like, "Your sister was smart in getting married when she graduated... No pressure, but keep an eye out for someone you like...". Alright, Dad. My dad also uses our car rides from my university to remind me that it's not too early to start looking for someone I'd be interested in marrying. Alhumdulillah, I'm really open with my parents so I can just tell them about all the creeps at my school who haven't got a clue about how to approach a girl they're interested in.

So we started talking about marriage at the wedding, and then the topic of marrying someone who isn't Pakistani or Muslim came up. Whenever this comes up, I love hearing what people have to say because no one can tell that I'm a mixed kid, and that I'm kind of an expert in the matter. Basically the parents never approve when the potential spouse is not the same ethnicity as they are. This is something I need explained to me quite often. I understand that the culture might be different, but why not mix the two? You're creating your own family, and you're probably going to start plenty of new traditions anyway. I just think that diverse families are beautiful (I'm obviously very bias), and that bringing different cultures together is so exciting and creative. My sister married a Libyan man last November, and we really didn't know any Libyans before him so the culture was VERY new to us. They're happily married, mashaAllah, and they learn something new about each others' traditions every day. I love hanging out with the Libyans! They're a blast :)
I guess my story is a little different because we don't really have a strong culture in my house and it would be the easiest thing to take on a culture alien to what we know, whereas with two completely different backgrounds, there would be clashes. I really do think that upbringing is more important, though. I'm very open-minded. That may also be due to my social work background... but I welcome cultures with arms wide open.
Although your parents often times know best, if you love someone, and the only thing keeping you apart is the culture your family knows, throwing that love away seems like a silly idea. Maybe you all disagree? I want to know what you think!

I had to post a picture of my eye makeup that Samirah did,
even though you can hardly see it and this is just another picture of my face more than anything...
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