عروسی : از جوی مدنی : آپادانا مهر - آبان 1388
Images of Iran 1970-1974
In autumn 1972 a joyful event took place in Tehran. Mohammad Ali Nematollahi married a cousin, Sabereh Nematollahi at a ceremony in the bride’s home. The host was Agha Mirza AbuTaleb Nematollahi, known to the Madani side of the clan as Amu Taleb. The families were inter-related through many generations and guests were numerous.
At the time of the wedding, we were enjoying a visit from a friend; Peter Myers, whom Bibijoon described as an “Agha Hessabi.” Peter was a playwright, son of a diplomat. He fell totally in love with Persia, especially Esfahan, where he was kindly looked after by Amir and Renate, then living in Esfahan. Amu Taleb graciously invited Peter to join us as a guest at the feast.
The reception was traditional. Men were in the courtyard and the women in rooms upstairs. When the time came for the meal, the chairs and tables in the courtyard were taken away and the sofreh was laid over the carpet. The sight and smells of the feast encouraged all male guests to sit in joyful anticipation. Unfortunately, dear Peter was a large gentleman with a large tummy. Sitting on the carpet, it was not possible for him to reach his plate. Our host spotted the problem and offered a chair and table which Peter, at first, refused wishing to observe local custom. As the classical saying goes, when in Rome do as the Romans do. But when further attempts to feed proved in vain, Amu Taleb’s practical suggestion was accepted and all was well. Peter’s predicament was met with warm hearted concern and sympathy by all around him. He frequently referred to the pleasures of that occasion when we met later in England. It would be unusual in England for a stranger to be invited to such a celebration, so Peter was especially grateful.
Customs do vary in the matter of priority between men and women. As there was such a multitude of guests, the supply of cutlery ran out. Unlike the convention in England, the men had priority, and alas no forks or spoons for the dwellers up above. I quickly learned that it was easy and delicious to eat khoresht and rice using the superb Iranian bread. And there is less washing up.
The marriage was blessed with gifted children. We regret not being able to attend the more recent wedding of the son, Ahmad Reza to Fati Madanipour’s dear daughter Sarah. May God’s richest blessing be upon them. Perhaps someone who had the privilege of witnessing this celebration will write about it for Apadana.