Wedding Crashers…or Honored Guests?

This was the lead article Saturday morning on the New York Times.

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When a young Afghan man walked into his wedding celebration, there were 600 extra guests. He ordered the caterers to feed all the strangers. His rationale–“If I didn’t serve them, it would have caused me dishonor and taken away all happiness from my wedding day.” Hoards of wedding crashers are common in Kabul. So to limit the financial strain of large weddings, the government is considering a bill limiting wedding parties to 500 guests.

Of course, the banquet halls are lobbying against the measure. Their rational–“forcing families to trim names from guest lists is not only an affront to Afghan values, but will only invite discord between families and weaken the social and tribal ties that undergird much of Afghan life.”

Living in Central Asia during my 20’s, many of my friends were young guys figuring out how to afford a wedding and marriage. Hospitality is a wonderful highlight of honor-shame cultures, but can become socially onerous as this articles unfolds.

Enjoy the read!  Related Post for Christian Ministry: How (Not) to Guests

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2 Comments on “Wedding Crashers…or Honored Guests?

  1. Fascinating! Have read a lot recently on the 1st century background of Jesus’ ministry. Had also read previously that the Jewish culture had strong honor/shame elements. Reading the above article on your site has combined with those thoughts and will have me thinking about Jesus’ wedding parables; the invited guests who refuse to show up plus the guest who shows up without the correct wedding garment. Thanks you for the food for thought!

    • Great point, I hadn’t thought of making that connection, but yes it does shed some light of Jesus’ parables. The story of Jesus turning water to wine at Cana (John 2) is also informed by this.

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