It is a cool Thursday evening in Oregon. The almost freezing temperature coupled with the biting breeze sting my face, somehow heightening the anticipation of reaching the front steps of my grandparents ' house, as we are already late. The frosty blue hues of the outside sky contrast with the rich, red, brick walls and beckoning, warm yellow light shining through the windows. Still bright, though muted by curtains, the light evokes a fleeting sense of otherness. It is as if, even for a few brief moments, we are stuck in between the desire to be let in, exacerbated by our surroundings and the strange intimidation by the unknown that arises from remaining in this limbo for too long. I glance towards my mother and younger sister, holding practically identical casseroles, as it has already been a good ten minutes and we 've received no answer on the night of my aunt 's impromptu, quasi-wedding. We decide to resort to other measures to find out what is going on, but as soon as we begin panicking, my little cousin opens the door. She leads us upstairs as the panic evaporates; us having almost completely recovered by the time we reach the large upstairs dining room, only to be met with the expected deafening cacophony of innocuous conversation. We, too, then fade into the cacophony almost immediately as I begin to try to observe everything around me with different eyes in order to see whether or not this can be classified as ritual.
So, what makes a wedding different from every other day? What makes it a ritual? To be a ritual, it must be a repetitive social practice that is distinct from our everyday lives and demonstrates significance through certain symbols and myths recognizable throughout our society. But the most important aspect...
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...most likely be easily recognized by someone of the same culture as such. It certainly felt like a wedding to the people participating in it, and therefore it was a wedding. The power of the individuals’ experiences has a place in rituals, continuing the evolution or stagnation of tradition and convention. One day they are the performers and the next they are the ancestors who the next performers will look to.
People can also project their own meaning onto a ritual and combine it with societies’ meaning. This is demonstrated in Rina’s philosophy towards marriage in her determination for legitimacy in the eyes of society for both herself and her daughter. This quasi-wedding was not just indicative of her and her fiancé’s beliefs and philosophy, but it was also the outward manifestation of her aspirations to come inside from the cold, even though she’s also a bit late.
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