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  1. 1. Wedding: the most important event of the life-cycle customs The most important event of the life-cycle customs is the wedding, a rite ofpassage too,the stages of which happen here, on the earth, at thesocial level. Thetwo young people who make, by marriage,a newfamily belong totwo different kins(Rom. neamuri). The bride is the one who suffers the passage for according to therule of residence, she must leave her family and move into a new house, a newhouse hold, that of her husband. Although in terms of traditional hierarchy thehusband΄s family, his parents are held in greater esteem – during the wedding partythey are the ”great-in-laws” (Rom. socri mari) ,to a large extent the whole ritual is inthe benefice of the bride. When the groom΄s emissaries come to the bride΄s houseasking for her, they present their request in avery protolic way, reciting a long poem(Rom.oratie, from. Lat oratio,-onis) in which the groom is presented as a ”youngemperor”who sent them to take ”the flower” away from her gardenand plant in theemperor΄s one. The most dramatic moment of wedding is the separation of the two youngpeople from theirs fellows, girls and boys of the same age. The groom is rituallyshaved, for the last time as a lad, a bachelor, and urged to take farewell of his friendsof the life he had as anunmarrried man. When he is dressed up in the traditionalwedding dress, the girl sing ”the bride song”(Rom. Cântecul miresei), a fare well songfull of sadness and sorrow, for she leaves her parets house and goes over themountains, into other courtyards, to unknowns parents.Bucharest eTwinning team Page 1
  2. 2. Of course, in order to overcome the sadness of separation, the weddings isstrewn with merry moments, songs and dances. Some of these have a ritual function,as hose mentioned above; others are meant to contribute to the atmosphere of joyand cheerfulness expected at such moents, like the ”Song of the Hen”(Rom.Cântecul găinii), a vivid dialogue between the one who sings it and the mostimportant personage of the ceremony – the best-man (Rom. nunul mare). In the same way, besides the ritual or ritualise dances, like the Bride΄s dance(Rom. Hora miresei) or the Sponsors΄ dance (Rom. Hora nunilor or Nuneasca), thewedding party is one of the best occasions for non-ritual dances, the whole repertoireof the village dances being now performed. Love songs and jolly songs are sung,humorous quatrains (Rom. strigături) are loudly shouted, and in olden times thefiddlers were asked to say anold one, an epic, heroic song, a folk narrative telling thestory of a brave man and of his deeds. Unsually the entire village takes part in such an event, as most of the villagersbelong to related families or kins and all are interested in the wellbeing of the newcouple, from now on a new social cell in the inextricable web of social relation of thecommunity. One week after the wedding, the young family will make its firstappearance in the village lanes, paying a protocolary visit to their best-man or to theyoung wife΄s parents.Bucharest eTwinning team Page 2