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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Iran, Season 1, Lesson 16 - Proposals and Engagements
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Iran Series at PersianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Iranian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 16, Proposals and Engagements. In Persian, it’s called khaastegaari va naamzadi.
One of the most important and momentous ceremonies of anyone's life is their wedding ceremony. In Iran, wedding ceremonies aren’t just a one-day ordeal; rather, the process is drawn out into several stages.
In this lesson, you will learn about the stages leading up to a wedding ceremony, which are Bale-Boroon, Hana'Bandoon, and Jahaz-Baroon. Each of these stages is an important part of the Iranian marriage process, and is characterized by its own traditions and rituals.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What does "marriage portion" mean in Iranian marriages, and what is its purpose?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Like in most countries, deciding to get married begins with a proposal in Iran. Proposing is an official asking of someone’s hand in marriage, and is typically conducted as follows. The future groom, in Persian called khaastegaar, along with his family goes to see his wife-to-be and her family on a certain date, bringing them flowers, sweets and the like. During this visit, which is similar to a party, or mehmaani, the girl, or dokhtar, often offers tea to the guests. In the meantime, the groom, bride, and their families sit and talk with one another to get to know each other better.
After the proposal ceremony, if the boy, girl, and their families like each other, they make an agreement and the engagement period begins. During this period, the boy and the girl are able to see each other more frequently so that they can get to know each other's personalities and interests. Meanwhile, the two families exchange gifts to show their affection and satisfaction with the bond. During the engagement period, a session called Bale Boroon is held. Bale Boroon literally means obtaining the "yes" answer from the bride. The purpose of this session is to determine and agree upon the costs, or hazineh-ha, of the wedding party. Traditionally, these costs are mostly covered by the groom.
After passing the initial stages prior to the wedding ceremony, the bride's family will provide a dowry, or jahiziyeh. The dowry includes items necessary for married life, such as furniture, a bed, kitchen utensils, and so on. After these have been provided, they are taken to the groom's family’s house, or to the couple’s future apartment. The final stage of pre-wedding rituals, which is still observed by some families, is called hanaa-bandoon. During this ceremony, which is the goodbye party for the bride on the night before the wedding, women decorate their hands with henna, in Persian called hanaa.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What does "marriage portion" mean in Iranian marriages, and what is its purpose?
"Marriage portion" is the money a groom gives to the bride as a marriage gift. According to custom, this money is most often presented in the form of gold coins. Marriage portions do not all amount to the same price; rather, each family decides upon the amount using a numerical basis of their choosing. For example, in some cases the number of coins that are to be given may be based on the birth year of the bride!
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Are any similar pre-wedding ceremonies or traditions observed in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at PersianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!