Winter Wedding

Winter is the wedding season. It is the time of year when the animals stay near the nomad’s winter settlements, feeding on oats or the little grass left on the pasture. There is more leisure then, especially during the new year, when families get together, eat and entertain friends. For those who work or live in cities,

In traditional Tibet, a marriage is more a business arrangement between two families than the result of two people loving each other and forming a partnership. There are several possible arrangements in a marriage: the bride leaving her family to join her husband’s, or the groom integrating into his wife’s household and taking her name. In either case, a bride or groom price is negotiated between the two families, benefitting those whose son or daughter has left. There is also the case, increasingly frequent in more urban areas, of the newly married couple starting their own family independent of both.

The following photos are of a traditional village wedding where the girl, or nama, joins her husband’s household. She is formally escorted by her relatives to her husband’s house where the marriage takes place. The only note is that this was not a real marriage but an enacted one, something nomads like to do during the New Year, for fun and as a pretext to get together, eat, sing and dance.