This past weekend we visited the famous pueblo Chinchero on our way to stay the night in Ollantaytambo. To me, one of the best parts of this visit was not only freely roaming the ruins and market without a tour guide, but also experiencing an unexpected traditional Peruvian wedding that took place in the main church. After attending multiple American weddings back home, this Peruvian wedding differed in quite a number of ways.
First, I was shocked at the ease with which our group entered the church and sat in the back pews to watch the wedding procession. The wedding party occupied a small front section which was blocked off, while the rest of the church remained open to the public. Perhaps the stereotype that Americans do everything big holds true in terms of weddings; The majority of weddings I have attended were not only a private affair within the church, but also had many more guests in attendance. From the size of the wedding party at the church in Chinchero, I would assume that the celebration is mainly for the immediate family, relatives, and close friends of the bride and groom.
Second, the couple expressed VERY little emotion throughout their entire wedding, from reciting their vows to exiting their church and receiving a toast. This more somber tone to the wedding sheds light on how Americans put such an emphasis on love and happiness. I think there is a skewed vision of love and marriage within America where people believe it has to be the best day of a couple’s lives, when realistically love can be expressed in so many more ways and many more days other than on a wedding day.
Finally, I just find it interesting to experience pieces of traditional Peruvian customs. As profe mentioned in class, it is these unplanned experiences which can give students like us an even greater perspective on a foreign culture.