The Money Pot

It seems the wedding gift is no longer a must in Săpînţa. When they go to the wedding in the evening, people are stirred by the fiddles and guitars. They've no more patience to sit still, they want to break their shoes dancing. Though the peasant ones have been replaced by a pair of Gucci shoes or sandals bought from abroad by those villagers who'd gone there to work. The bride's mother urges the guests to the tables, her daughter is getting married. Let it out!, they would shout to the fiddler. Bring the schnitzels, bring the salami! Let the plum brandy flow! The guests hear other tunes now, that good band from Sighetul Marmaţiei has come. From brandy to cake, the blood runs faster, so does the dance. The fierce women of Maramureş lead the dance themselves, they won't let the men do it. They're too tipsy, what if they mess up the steps? Around 1 or 2 in the morning, you dance with the bride. You put money into the pot on the table and you can dance with the bride, otherwise… you just watch! From several hundred thousands Romanian lei to hundreds of Euros, more rarely dollars, after all they work in Europe, not America. They dance with the bride and the money gathers, there are 700 people, if only she wouldn't get tired! Round, and round! The bride received about 500 millions in the money pot. After the money comes the steak and later the cakes and the wedding cake. If you want the traditional rolls, you're in the wrong place, nowadays they make that only for funerals in Săpînţa! What with the music, what with the meatballs, you hardly notice a new day is beginning! The flag bearer receives the groom's flag to undo it, maybe it'll bring him luck! The bride receives a headscarf, a sign that she's a married woman now. May they live long! From Jurnalul naţional, May 17, 2004

by Costin Anghel