...yet another Big Fat Serb Wedding

It’s a beautiful July morning and I’m getting ready to go to yet another Serb wedding. I am quite looking forward to the day itself, but not the inevitable incessant questioning about when I will be a bride.

I arrive at the Church where the harmonikaš is in full flow and hundreds of people are dancing, laughing and milling around. I decide to keep my sunglasses on and conduct an inconspicuous study of the guests. “Hmm… some very handsome, eligible men”, I smile to myself; call me biased but Serbs are a good looking nation.

I notice that the babe are huddled together scrutinizing everyone and passing comment. Chuckling to myself, I wonder if I’ll turn into one of them when I’m older.

The crowd of guests enters the Church and waits for the blushing bride to walk down the aisle to her waiting prince. The woman in front of me is wearing a huge hat with protruding feathers that keep flapping in my face every time she moves her head; I find it amusing, but the bake behind me are far from impressed and start whispering, “A ko je ona Bog te pomog’o?” “Šta će joj ono čudo na glavi?” “Čudi me da može da vidi gde ide”.

Two hours later I’m at the reception, my feet are already killing me, my belly is rumbling and I’m dehydrated, but so far I’ve managed to avoid being interrogated about my future wedding plans. My family and I sit at our designated table and introduce ourselves to the other guests. The band is in full swing and the guests are already veseli, singing along while waving their arms in the air. I lose myself in the music, but suddenly hear “Ma srećo moja, gde si ti? Nema te nigde da se nađes. Moj Milan je ovde pa da vaz upoznam”. Oops, she’s talking to me. Take a deep breath and smile. I play along and say yes, after dinner I will come over and meet the lovely Milan etc etc. I decide to go to the bar but get accosted left right and centre, “A srećo kad će tvoja svadba biti?” “Roksi moraš da se upoznaš sa mojim unukom”. “Roksi mila, kako si ti? Da li imaš momka?” On and on they go. Twenty minutes later I finally reach the bar but am so drained I’ve forgotten what I wanted.

I get through the meal and speeches without further questioning and start to relax. Suddenly there’s a tap on my shoulder and I turn round to see a young man standing before me. Oh God, which one is this then? “Zdravo Roksi, ja sam Jovan,” (OK, who does he belong to? I was sure I was going to find out soon enough.) “Bi li volela piće da ti uzmem i da se upoznamo?” What could I say? I asked for a Coke and he replied that a diet coke might be better! Er…hello? Cheeky bleeder! Not a good start on his part. Over the next hour he regales me with the date of his slava, how many houses he has and what he expects from his Serb wife. Time for a sharp exit methinks. I make polite excuses and join in the dancing, only to have my hand grabbed so hard that I think it’s going to fall off. I turn round and there’s Milan with a big cheesy grin introducing himself. Thirty minutes later I’ve managed another get away but get yet another tap on my shoulder. This time it’s Dragan, the unuk of whoever and whatever, who has three houses, a BMW and celebrates Jovandan. I only have energy for polite chit chat and pretend to look interested. As we head off into the kolo, I pass a group of bake ensconced in the corner and hear them say, “E daj Bože da se Roksi i Dragan sledeći venčaju”. Daj Bože that I can go home to bed and escape this mad lot of matchmakers. I go to dance with my friends and family and enjoy the rest of the evening, glad that I’ve survived yet another Big Fat Serb Wedding.