There was a very special day last week-end: P’Kung’s wedding day! I had known P’Kung since last year, when she joined our « Customer Service » team. Together, we went through hardships and also met great successes. But most importantly, at all times, P’Kung had brightened our team’s atmosphere with her nice smile and her great kindness. I was really happy to know P’Kung was about to get married and even happier to be invited to join, for this very special day. This was the first time we were invited to a traditional Thai wedding!
It seems that wedding ceremonies are traditionally organized in the brides’ hometowns. That is why P’Kung was going to get married in Nakhon Ratchasima. This was good news for us: apart from its capital, we like this region a lot for its nice landscape, its fascinating history and cultural heritage, as well as for its handicrafts.
P’Kung and her future husband recently had a traditional Thai house built there, around which wedding party had been planned. Wedding ceremony by itself would mainly be organized inside the house. Related activities such as meals, music and dancing would be arranged in the nearby garden.
It is the beginning of rainy season. Luckily the sun is shining for P’Kung’s big day! The night before, a huge thunderstorm has washed away all clouds and nicely refreshed atmosphere. The ground is just a little muddy, so we are invited to wear casual shoes, which makes us feel comfortable immediately.
I am really happy to see again the whole « Customer Service » team! Everyone from the team is wearing matching Thai traditional clothes. How beautiful they are! With a great kindness, Noon will guide us during all wedding activities and explain for us the different steps of the traditional ceremony, in Thailand. On the very morning, she says, the groom came to the bride’s house, and had to cross a symbolic fence of braided flowers hold by guests, keeping him away from his future wife.
We are led to the newlyweds’ bedroom. Inside, P’Kung and P’O’s house is bright and new and really pleasant. Rooms are spacious and sunny. And very busy too. Family, friends and neighbors are there to congratulate and praise the couple. The living-room has been dedicated to receive foods and offerings brought earlier to the bride and groom, in procession. It looks like we missed the beginning of ceremonies…
Our children are in very good hands. My nice colleagues help them taking off their shoes and climbing up the stairs. Surrounded with so many beautiful young ladies, our boys look really happy, though somehow impressed.
At last, we meet up with P’Kung. She is a beautiful bride, in her traditional golden dress! Even more, she radiates happiness. On her forehead, three dots have been drawn as a blessing, with a paste of powder and water. We are both pregnant of around the same term, and pregnancy really suits P’Kung. Since early in the morning, Little-Two has been expecting to see the bride. All the way, he could not help speaking about her (and we all know that Little-Two can talk a lot…)… but, still, I am quite surprised to see him jump on P’Kung’s lap and kiss her on both cheeks!
It is the first time I meet with P’O, the groom. Kindness and serenity are radiating from his face. I like him immediately. I wish him the greatest happiness, for himself and his family. In the meanwhile, Little-One is very busy taking pictures with my pretty colleagues. After usual congratulations and blessings, wedding ceremony is carried on under the house, in an open space where traditional wedding scenery has been arranged.
The newlyweds are seated in front of their audience, the groom on the right side. They are crowned with white circlets, linked together with a thread representing bounds which shall attach them together forever, for the good and for the bad. Then, the groom fastens a gold necklace around the bride’s neck, symbolizing financial safety and stability he commits to bring to his future family.
Then come the bride’s and the groom’s parents. They praise and bless the young couple, by pouring scented water on their hands, with a shell. They are followed by family, friends, neighbors and relatives, who will proceed to the same ritual. Noon explains us she will not join this ceremonial, as you must be older than the newlyweds to be allowed to.
I am getting a little tired. My colleagues kindly propose me to sit among older ladies from the assembly, with the boys by my side. Children have been placed close to a really big box, containing small gifts for guests. They are very excited to help unwrapping gifts from the box. In parallel, they hunt for bugs to give to Noon, who will gently keep collecting them with the greatest patience.
It is our turn to give our blessing to the young couple. We carefully observe preceding guests, so as to avoid mistakes. I am going first, together with Little-One. The latter is responsible for carrying our wedding gift, in an envelope. One of my young colleagues provides us with a shell, full of scented water. Little-One enthusiastically grabs it and pours water… on flowers placed besides the groom. Everybody tries to restrain his laughter. Our second try, on the groom’s hands, is much better. And then comes the brides’. Our envelope is a little wet, but we did not do so badly, after all!
Then, we receive as a gift a lovely colorful towel, nicely wrapped in a glass, and decorated with a pretty bow. We will be happy to bring back home this cute souvenir from P’Kung’s wedding! After a few more pictures, wedding ceremony comes to an end. It is now time for sharing wedding meal together. Noon explains us that the bride and groom’s relatives have spent the whole night cooking. What a huge piece of work! But its result is superb! All dishes are excellent! A large glowing pink fish is particularly exquisite. I am very happy to get the chance and spend some more time with « Customer Service » team, sharing this great lunch. A few moments later, even P’Kung can join us! Almost everybody is here!
Little-One has been hearing music playing for some time. He cannot wait to go dancing. Though his Dad has escorted his to the dance floor, he seems much more interested in my lovely colleagues –to which he will keep referring for all week-end! After a little while, he is even invited to join dancers and singers, on the stage! What a great experience!
Wedding party is almost finished. As Noon explained us, traditional weddings in Thailand will take place in the morning. Tired with so many discoveries and nice encounters, our children need a nap, anyway. From our side, we have been really happy to join and share P’Kung and P’O’s joy. My husband has taken many great pictures, and we will keep really great memories of their wedding!
… After coming back home, the children could not help opening their towels-gifts… and loved them! They found them so soft and smooth that they now sleep together with them!
Thank you so much, P’Kung and P’O! We wish you the greatest happiness for your future family!
By exception, I wrote this article in both French and English, as a great thanks to P’Kung, her new husband, and all my great colleagues from « Customer Service » team! It was so good to see you all again! Thank you all for the really nice time we had together! Thank you!!!