"You May Now Kiss the Bride..."


                 Overall, I thought the content knowledge project was thought provoking and it forced us to explore something we were interested in.  I thought of my topic, Traditional Wedding Ceremonies after watching a TV program called "Jessica Simpson's what is beauty?"  She traveled to Uganda where instead of skinny being beautiful, fat is beautiful.  After watching the program and hearing about the content knowledge assignment, I knew I wanted to do a project talking and dealing with other countries.  After careful thought, I thought of three countries to talk about and research: Uganda, Japan, and Scotland.  I didn't want to explore America because since we live here, I didn't think it would have been as beneficial as researching other countries instead.  What I wanted to do was research other countries that are opposite of us.  I wanted to find different traditions, different styles, different ceremonies, etc.  When I started to research Scotland, I found that Scotland was more difficult than I thought because it was hard to find information on their ceremonies.  I found a lot of myths and traditions, but not as much on the actual ceremony which was what I wanted.  Overall though, I really liked the content knowledge project, although it was time consuming, I thought I it was thought provoking at the same time.   

                After researching three new topics, I have found that I learned a lot about each country.  Ugnada’s traditions and ceremonies are the most conflicting with our countries in my opinion.  The man is the one who seeks the woman and has to ask permission.  He has to offer up gifts to the bride’s parents and only if they are accepted will he have a chance with the daughter.  I thought it was interesting that it used to be the marriages were arranged because even in the U.S. today, we still have arranged marriages.  Some gifts include fruits, vegetables, and loaves of bread, sugar, salt, soap, paraffin, cooking oil, curry powder, cows, fabric, cattle, goats, money, and furniture.  The groom is to never show up empty handed.  If he does, there will not and cannot be a proposal or marriage.  This practice is known as okutona.  One of the things I like about Uganda is that the family is very involved in the proposal and wedding process.  It isn’t like in American where sometimes couples run off, get married and doesn’t tell anyone.  In Uganda, there is no way that can happen.

                Japan’s ceremonies are elegant and very religious.  Japan, to me was the most intriguing out of all of them.  Their ceremonies are very religious and customs of very strict.   Most Japanese weddings are held either at hotels or in wedding halls.  Chapels and shrines either have to be located in these facilities or one has to be brought to these locations.  Japanese weddings can be Shinto, Christian, Buddhist, or a non-religious style.  Most traditional style weddings are Shinto style, Shinto meaning “way of the Gods.”  I thought it was interesting that in traditional style weddings, only the family is allowed to attend.  If it were me, I would want family and friends to attend.  You would think that people would want to share this day with everyone special in their lives.  Although sometimes only the family can attend the ceremony, friends and family are allowed to attend the reception.  I like that Japanese weddings are much like our weddings in America.  There are some differences, but I like that they are very religious.  It is refreshing to see that most weddings in one country are religious. 

                Scotland was the hardest country to research.  I found myths and traditions, but not as much on the ceremony itself as opposed to what I found about Uganda and Japan.  The one thing I really liked about Scotland is that much like our bachelor and bachelorette parties, they have a Hen and Stag party.  It is a lot like our bachelor and bachelorette parties, but in my opinion, it is much worse.  They parade around town being loud and obnoxious and letting everyone know they are getting married.  The mother usually helps out with this night.  I know for a fact my mother would never help me out with a bachelorette party.  The Stag party is just as worse.  The groom is sometimes stripped down, covered in soot, treacle and feathers and left overnight tied to a tree or a post.  In some rural areas, the groom is paraded around on a lorry through town with celebration as his last night as a free man.  Before I researched Scotland, I thought they were a lot like American weddings, but as I read a lot of their traditions are very opposite of ours.  We may look the same, but our weddings are nothing alike.  I added a poll on the project to see what others thought after reading about these countries.  I already voted and I'm very interested in seeing what people think?

                Using the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, the content knowledge project can relate to any standards given on the NC Standard Course of Study website.  When looking through the website, I thought the project more closely related to first grade because they study neighborhood and communities around the world.  My project would have to fall under Goal 4: The learner will explain different celebrated holidays and special days in communities.  It would relate to this goal because wedding are special days and the goal is talking about holidays and special days around the world.  Since I chose not to do America, any other country would be considered around the world.  More specifically, two objectives my project could fall under would be 4.01: Recognize and describe religious and secular symbols/celebrations associated with special days of diverse cultures and 4.02: Explore and cite reasons for observing special days that recognize celebrated individuals of diverse cultures.  These could be two objectives because we would talk about symbols that could go along with weddings and research reasons why these weddings are the way they are. 

            I would love to try activities in the classroom using this project as a guide.  I think it would be cool to set up different stations, but have the stations set up in a particular countries wedding ceremony “stage.”  I could have kids reading and participate in activities in these stations associated with the ceremony and country.  Endless possibilities are with this topic.  I can have older students go off and do a project of their own researching special events (doesn’t have to be a wedding) and create a project of their own to present to the class.  There are many activities and projects I can do with students.  Using the content knowledge project, I can create multiple projects for all goals and have it related to other goals and objectives according to the NC Standard Course of Study.