Adonis Diaries

This August in Lebanon: “Can I read my own vows at wedding?”

Posted on: August 16, 2010

So, what’s going on in August? (2010)

In this hot August of Lebanon it is sort of “branle-bas de combat” or getting ready to waging war, literally and figuratively, internally and externally.

Thousands of Lebanese immigrants selected August to pay a visit to their motherland. Many have come to get married.

The process of getting married can be extremely lengthy and complicated among Christians of various sects, and as easy as dispatching a spouse among Muslims where the father sign the contract on behalf of his son and then buy an airplane ticket to the new bride to join a husband she had never met face to face.

For example, Christian immigrants have to reconcile with different mentalities:  In Europe, the States require civil marriage prior to religious one, on the ground that religious contracts are not valid by law.

This rational is reversed in Lebanon: You need to get married religiously first, otherwise, registering your civil  marriage that you had contracted outside Lebanon might turn out a headache.

Thus, if you get married religiously in Lebanon then, you better keep mute about this landslide event when you get re-married civil in Europe.

As far as I recall, religious marriage in the USA are as valid as civil marriage:  The priest signature on the contract is highly respected.  (I might be wrong, so do not hesitate to correct me).

One of the fiance asked me: “Do you think a priest might allow me to read my vow written in English?”  I replied:”If you locate a priest willing to allow you to state your own version of why you want to marry then, I will help you edit your vow and teach the priest to read it”.

It is always feasible to finding accommodating priests with a lavish bribe.

As far as I know, the only acceptable version in Catholic churches is that “What has been linked in the sky no man can cancel it”

My niece Joanna is one of the prospective candidate to be wed by the end of August.  She was invited to the church for the wedding of one of her closest friend.

I sensed that she might need support and I accompanied her.  She was all eyes and all ears to the procedure and was awed to what the priest preached and what the couple read together in Arabic; she could have a second thought if she took seriously what religion demands of its hapless souls.

By the way, the elder brother of the potential bride take seriously being a “unchurch” attendant. You might think he is a Jehovah Witness but he thinks he is smarter than these archaic believers of the written archaic Books.

I still cannot fathom the unidirectional attitude of young people as they learn to read and taking strong positions.

I think taking strong positions is a matter of immature ignorance.

Anyway, emigrants coming from the northern cold front of “developed” States in Europe land in Lebanon with haggard pale faces and much weight loss:  I think too much biking to juggle several jobs under cold rains is one of the factors for their nervous wreckage.

Within a week, the pale-faced creatures acquire colors and recover their normal weight in addition to a few extra pounds.

I was invited to an open air restaurant called Gilgamesh to meet the brothers of my niece’s fiance and each of the large platters could easily feed four people of the cold front guests.

I saw a reportage on our local TV of a German family visiting Lebanon; they were apprehensive before they arrive to Lebanon.

Now the kids don’t want to return to Germany:  They are having too much fun and seeing the sea everyday and discovering the high mountains everyday and eating abundant assorted food.

Obviously, they are seeing the hidden ugly realities of Lebanon and what kinds of monstrous crap the Lebanese have to swallow and endure in order to survive the decisions and activities of pseudo governments.

I am not going to be the bad mouthed citizen jeopardizing this touristic season.  Anyway, the fasting season of 40 days for the Muslims is on and prices of all kinds of sugar, rice, fruits, and vegetables will easily double.

Most non-Lebanese touring Lebanon in August are from the Arabic Peninsula States. Temperature there range from 50 to 60 degrees Celsius; people are prohibited leaving their homes from 11 am to 3 pm.  Temperatures in Lebanon are 15 degrees less, but high enough for Northern Europeans to die like flies.

In the external front, this arrogant and racist State of Israel has tried to start problems with Lebanon last week.

The Israeli army invaded our borders in the village of Adeissy in order to remove a tree that obstructed vision  of its surveillance cameras.  The UN waving of flags was of no use.

The Lebanese army sent warning shots but the Israeli bombed the army positions and killed two soldiers and one daily reporter and injured several civilians.

One of the injured Lebanese soldier shot down an Israeli officer and another enemy soldier.  The next day, Israel learned to coordinate with the UN forces to remove a lousy tree that made several victims but confirmed the steadfastness of the Lebanese army to denying arrogant Israel any further humiliation of the Lebanese.

Hezbollah was ready to support the army if confrontation escalated and that is why Israel relented in its stupid activities.

The next day of that engagement, Canada ordered its citizens to scrap visiting Lebanon from their plans.  Three Canadian young relatives visiting us laughed out their government scare tactics saying that Canada usually wants to save money repatriating its citizens.

Young Joseph is a funny guy; he recounted that he was among his Lebanese relatives and they were speaking in Arabic; so Joseph dozed off until he heard his name followed by a hilarious loud laughing.  Joseph asked them: “Am I the one concerned?”  They laughed some more and reassured him “Well, it is nothing”

Joseph says that he managed to capture a third of a conversation. How? Joseph clarified “Lebanese use words from Arabic, French, and English in the same sentence.”  So, Joseph assume that he is understanding something.  

Joseph’s father Nassif (a Lebanese) did not make the effort to teach him and his two sisters Arabic or encouraged them to  speak Arabic in his presence.  If Joseph’s father were Jew, Joseph would have learned archaic Hebrew; the most archaic language still in existence.

Actually, married Lebanese are settled or settling abroad.  No young Lebanese can afford to rent or buy a wretched small apartment in Beirut and the district of Metn.  Real Estates prices jumped 600% in the last two years.

Note:  At the peak of the tourism season, the government is reminded to do extensive road works and spreading asphalt.  Traffic congestion is thus at its peak.

1 Response to "This August in Lebanon: “Can I read my own vows at wedding?”"

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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