Old customs make life interesting!
We do not realize how many acts we perform on a daily basis that are rooted in the past. We learn, even before kindergarten, what our society deems proper and what is unacceptable.
Each ethnic and/or religious group is deeply steeped in yes-yesses and no-nos. Taboos are inherited from previous generations. They often made sense in the 17th or 18th century but they are outmoded and have no real meaning in our modern scientific society.
The modern world also engenders new customs to be formed. The interesting idea of whipping out a cell phone on the Long Island Rail Road, or while driving a car or walking down the avenue with a portable phone stuck in your ear is new and subject to appraisal by the mores of a media oriented world.
No area of human endeavor contains more old wives' tales, or restrictions than a wedding. "Something borrowed, something blue" comes to mind immediately. The groom is not allowed to see the bride before the wedding - it's bad luck. Why? Who pays for what at a wedding is also customary. It has never been documented as law but there are many arguments and varied points of view on who pays for what. It is usually worked out before the trip down the aisle but often not everybody on either side is completely happy.
One custom at a Jewish wedding is called the Mezinka. It probably has roots from Eastern Poland and Russia. Simply stated it is this:
* When parents are marrying off their last child, a certain dance is performed.
* The happy and lucky parents are seated in the center of the dance floor.
* Laurel wreaths are placed on the heads of the mother and father.
* A lovely, lively, catchy tune is played over and over again.
* All the wedding guests line up and approach the happy pair, words of congratulations are issued and much kissing, smooching and crying are heard. "Mazel Tov" and "It's about time," echo in the wedding hall, as the tune drones on and on.
It is an old, corny, outdated custom but Lorraine and I loved every second of this dance when Gregg Marshall, our last unmarried child, wed Jennifer Polli in Boston. We included the bride's mother as she was entitled to this celebration as well. She loved it!
I still get goose bumps when I think of it.
I wish all my readers can someday experience this wonderful moment in their lives.