Saleha Akter Urmi Facilitator
In Umme Habiba’s childhood, she saw rich people in society decorate big wedding gates with different types of colorful fabric and colorful light. Some of the lights were long and white, and some were tiny lights called jinok bati. Middle class families decorated their wedding gates with colorful paper.
Weddings gates are a tradition in both Bangladesh and Myanmar; Buddhist and Hindus include idols in their gates while Muslims only use fresh flowers, paper decorations and lights. It is also a fun way for the bride and groom’s families to interact and get to know each other. On the morning before the wedding, 15-16 people usually friends and relatives from both sides who are a little experienced in craftwork come together to make the gate. The bamboo base of the gate is bought from the market for 2,000 kyat and then covered with decorations. Sometimes they make floral bicycles and airplanes to decorate the gate, which is placed outside the groom’s house where it stays for three days after the ceremony. All guests enter the ceremony through that gate. The bride arrives in a rented car decorated especially for the event. If the groom knows how to drive, he will pick up the bride and bring her to the event parking the car around the gate. It is every girl’s wish to have a decorated gate at her wedding.