Are you in love right know? Do you want to marry one day?
Martyn, my littel fictious Ukranian from a small 19th century village in the Portava region, would answer both questions with “Yes”.
Today he’s gathered all his courage to propose to his love Lubya and it’s time for her to give him the answer:
All eyes were on Lyuba. She stood at the large wooden table looking at the two items in front of her: A pumpkin and a beautifully embroidered linen towel. Turning her head to look at him she pursed her lips and picked up the pumpkin. Feeling it’s weight, considering it – considering Martyn.
Lyuba was making a game out of this, enjoying his state of unease and relishing the power she was holding over him in this moment. Martyn hadn’t even taken the precaution to come at night. Everyone in town would know. Please God, not the pumpkin, he silently pleaded.
In his head he was already mapping out the least crowded route to his home, when she put the pumpkin back on the table. The tension in him eased a bit but her fingers still caressing it, she smiled at Martyn. Just a little mischievous smile that made his heart skip a beat again. She couldn’t do this to him. She simply wouldn’t. Or would she?
Then Lyuba came up to him.
Hands behind her back, holding on to the towel she had embroidered as a girl for this very occasion, she now stood right in front of him. Not giving it a second thought, she slung the towl around his neck and pulled him down by the ends of it. Forgetting all about tradition, she planted a kiss right onto the surprised man’s lips. He was hers now, her husband-to-be!
The postcard that caused me to have this littel writerly outburst was sent to me by Viktoriia from the Ukraine. She decided to tell me a bit about the Ukranian wedding traditions:
“Traditionally it’s like theatre.” she writes, “At the beginning parents of the future wife and husband share breads. If the girl doesn’t want to marry this guy she gives him pumpkin […] as “NO”-answer. If she says “yes” she gives him the towels she embroidered for this wedding […]”.
By-the-way: The image on the front of Viktoriia’s card shows the traditional wedding adornment of a house.
Today, wedding proposals in the Ukraine aren’t any different from the one’s everywhere else: No more pumpkins and embroidered towels, just the standard *bling-bling* engagement ring.
Viktoriia thinks it is important to value and remember the old traditions too and I agree. They are precious and in this case a lot funnier than today’s ;P (at least in my head):
Just imagine a guy running through the city trying to avoid being seen with a huge orange pumpkin in his arms XD.
Well, Viktoriias card travelled 902 miles (1452 km) before reaching its destination after 19 days on October 5th.