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Belgium Saturday 13

BELGIUM | Sunday, 14 October 2007 | Views [485]

Just back from part 1 of the wedding.

I have already mentioned about the 'shooting'.  Today, the extended family and friends came around for champagne and photos.  Then we went to the town hall for the official part of the wedding where the legal issues were addressed.  Very interesting.

We had a chat about differences between Australian and Belgian weddings.  One clear distinction is that women here do not take on their husbands family name.

Then we went to the church where we had a church wedding.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that a small part of the service was in English.  After the service there was rice throwing, but also bubble blowing, and lollies for children and drinks for everyone.

The family then went to an afternoon tea with neighbours and friends, so we popped home for a few hours to rest up for the celebrations tonight.

It has been good to be here to celebrate with Elke and her family, and welcome Tom to our extended family.

Belgium is in a crisis of government at the moment after elections in June which have not reached a compromise between Flanders and Walloonia - it sounds as though negotiations have reached a stalemate!  The two different cultures - French speaking and Flemish (Dutch) speaking - seem to keep themselves separated.  (There is also a small segment of 80000 german speakers with their own parliament!) The ability of all Australians to continue to work together is something worth striving for.

Change of topic.  It was interesting to note on the night of our departure from Turkey was called the 'Night of Power' - the night that Moslems celebrate when God gave Mahommed the Koran.  Mahommed describes himself as the deliverer of the Koran so the celebration day is the arival of the Koran itself (which makes little mention of Mahommed).  Very different from Christianity where we celebrate the birth and death of Jesus himself and the bible is the supporting information. 

Colin in Aalst

Tags: Party time

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