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Transcript of Chaldean Weddings
Teenagers in Middle Eastern cultures have a strict view on dating. Parents of teenagers restrict their children - especially females - from dating before the age of 19. If found dating before the age of consent, the teenagers will be punished and won't have as much freedom and privileges as before. Mothers are usually worried when their daughters date before the age of consent because they don't want other chaldeans to think of their daughters as 'sluts' or 'easy'. The mothers aren't really that concerned about their sons, they still don't like the idea of them dating before the age of consent but they're usually less strict on them. Fathers are very strict on their daughters, but less strict on their sons. Parents would prefer their children to date within the same cultural background. (Chaldean with Chaldean, Assyrian with Assyrian, Arab with Arab). Also if they are from the same village as your family that is good too.
A lot of Chaldean women are not allowed to meet males in their society voluntarily. However, Chaldean women can meet their grooms-to- be in the presence of their parents. Courtship if any must take place in the home of the bride or at some agreed location, and in the presence of elders. The families of the male and female announce engagement of the couple to all the invited relatives and friends. After the announcement in chaldean marriages, there happens to be quite a few ceremonies that lead up to the actual marriage and celebration. a parade takes place in the streets and announces the couple’s union after the completion of the marriage ceremony. After the parade, the bride and groom sit in two comfortable chairs on a kosha (a dais) at the head of the reception hall. Chaldean weddings are often followed by riotous celebration where music and dance dominate. Exotic food is served to the guest and wines are quaffed with gusto.
The Henna is a Middle Eastern engagement party with an Indian twist. The women are the first to arrive at the venue and they are wearing traditional Indian clothing. The women make a bunch of trays filled with candy, nuts and dried fruits. The men arrive an hour after the party has started wearing traditional Iraqi clothing. After their grand arrival the Henna continues on as a normal party. This is typically thrown a week before the wedding. It's optional.
The role of most females in the Chaldean culture is to clean, cook and take of the children, house and their husband. Now that most Chaldean's have moved to North America, things are changing. More women are going to school and getting jobs and aren't just stay at home moms anymore. Chaldean women aren't allowed to move out of their parents house until they are married. The ideal age for marriage for them is between the ages of 20-30.
The role of males in the Chaldean culture is to provide for their families and take care of their wife and children. Back home they were the sole providers, but since the move to North America women help out their husbands and sometimes the husbands don't work. It's usually the males going after the females. Back before the men would have to go to the house of the girls and ask their family for permission to take them out.
Parents of the Brides Role
Parents of the Grooms Role
If all goes well during the courtship and both sides approve of one another. They go ahead with the tenatha which means promise in Chaldean. It's usually a small event with immediate family of both sides. It's a promise between two sides, the grooms family asks for the brides hand in marriage and the brides family promises their daughter for their son. A dinner follows afterwords and the grooms family buys her a diamond cross.
The parents of the bride by her any wedding dress of her choice within their budget and they also buy the bridesmaid dresses. During the engagement, they buy the groom jewelery (gold or diamond). When they buy the house they pay for the kitchen.
The parents of the groom take care of everything financially. They pay for the wedding and the jewelery for the bride. When the bride and groom buy a house the parents of the groom buy furniture of the bride and grooms choosing for the house.
Religion and Superstitions
All Chaldeans' are Chaldean Catholic. They have to be married in a Chaldean church. If you are marrying outside of the culture, the person has to be Catholic. The women have to be virgins, some consider that the most important thing. A superstition that we have is the groom is not allowed to see her the day before the wedding and he is not allowed to see her in her wedding dress before the wedding.
When the bridal party walks in it's called the "zafa". The bridesmaid and their groomsmen walk in first with presents from the bride and groom and after they are all done the bride and groom walk in and everyone goes towards them and starts dancing. All music is arabic and chaldean music, we do the khiga, baga and all sorts of other dances. After the slow dance, they usually play a couple of English songs for the newer generation and than it goes back to arabic music.
1.) Do you believe Chaldean marriages are overly exaggerated? Yes or No?
2.) Some Chaldean weddings are very big with many people (300-1000), do you wish to have a lot of people at your wedding or just a small amount?
3.) Most Chaldean girls have so much freedom in their teen years resulting in boyfriends at the earliest age of 13. True or False?
4.) Chaldean's have many supersitions regarding their weddings, do you believe them or no?
5.) Does culture matter with the concept of planning a wedding?