The sofreh aghd is the center stone of Persian weddings. A sofreh is a colorful, decorative spread of symbolic items.
The sofreh aghd is the center stone of Persian weddings. A sofreh is a colorful, decorative spread of symbolic items.

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Persian_Girls-210I’m reading PERSIAN GIRLS by Nahid Rachlin, whom I met in New Haven when we walked as each other’s security detail to and from our hotel.  I’m about half-way through her memoir about growing up female in Iran, and just read this passage about her sister’s marriage ceremony:

Pari didn’t answer immediately.  It was proper for the bride not to show eagerness.  To make the bridegroom wait for the bride’s answer signified that it was the husband who sought the wife and was eager to have her and not the other way around.

This is, of course, a performance.  A lie.  Pari’s new husband is eager, yes, but he is eager because this is an arranged marriage and he will be taking home his reluctant child bride.  The bride is not eager; the bride is terrified; the bride has no choice but to perform.

If you’re looking for a summer read about sisterhood, one that will transport you to another time and place, one that’s off the too-worn (boring) path of summer book lists, this one’s for you.

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