Marriage in Ossetia begins with theft, and sometimes very cruel. If a young man decides to become a groom, nothing will stop him: he has the right to grab a girl he likes, throw a cloak over her, force her into a car and take her to his house. Sometimes for young women, the matter ends not only with bruises and abrasions on the body, but also with ruined lives. Ossetian brides told Lente.ru about how they dressed up and how they felt during their luxurious wedding, and what awaited them in marriage.
Well, what is it - I took and stole a girl who doesn't love me?
Tamerlane, 25 years old, fiancé
You send her to a shopping center, then you go there with your guys, take a burka with you. Someone distracts her, and at this time you or your friend run up to her from behind, put on a burka and carry away.
Now they are stealing by agreement. No one would dare to steal a bride with whom he did not even communicate. Well, what is it - I took and stole a girl who does not love me? They will immediately take her away. And before that it was not - they all stayed. I was ashamed to leave.
When someone's sister was stolen, then on this basis they fought almost by surnames - how dare you? Earlier, when the Ossetians lived in the mountains, it was like this: like a girl - what kind of dates? I just took it and stole it! And love eventually came, I guess.
The bride is taken to her room - then the wedding begins
For Ossetian future spouses, everything starts with matchmaking. From the groom's side, several men are sent to the bride's house to ask her to marry their relative. But at the first meeting, it is not accepted to agree. Matchmakers are sent three times, and only from the third time is the day of the conspiracy appointed. The bride's side may reject the offer of the matchmakers, but this must be done delicately and courteously, so as not to offend the guests and the groom's family.
During the conspiracy, the parties discuss the details of the upcoming wedding, agree on the date and number of guests. After that, the traditional feast begins. At the end of the conspiracy, it is customary to transfer a certain amount of money to the bride's house.
After the conspiracy, there is a secret visit - a week before the wedding, on Sunday night. The groom, along with the best men, friends and relatives, comes to the bride and brings gifts: a wedding ring, a dress that the bride will wear on her wedding day, underwear, shoes, perfume and gold for the future mother-in-law. And the best men then become the named brothers of the bride, throughout their lives they must protect her and help her.
The senior best man - he is called kuylkhatsag - is the main character at the wedding. Everything depends on his organization: what will be the order at the wedding, when the delegation goes to pick up the bride, how the guests will be received
After the young couple exchanged rings, a feast begins, at the end of which the groom and the best men enter the house of the older women. The bride's mother and grandmother serve them glasses of Ossetian beer. When the glasses are empty, they return them, putting money inside - as they see fit.
On the morning of the wedding day, a motorcade leaves for the bride, she is taken away and taken to the groom. The arrivals should be met by the elders, while the young, meanwhile, bring out three pies and Ossetian beer. The head of the family makes a toast, addressing God with wishes for the young. After that, guests are invited to the house or restaurant. After removing the veil, the bride treats the elderly women with honey, and the mother-in-law and other relatives wish the newlyweds to be as sweet to each other as this honey. After the ritual, the bride is taken to her room - then the wedding begins.
Zaurbek Sidakov and his bride Madina Plieva
However, not every Ossetian wedding goes well. Last summer, a scandal thundered throughout the republic at the wedding of the world freestyle wrestling champion Zaurbek Sidakov.During the celebration, the groom was sent erotic videos of his future wife, which she allegedly sent to her former boyfriend, who was also married. Sidakov dragged the girl out of the restaurant by the hair, friends and family supported him. After the incident, he sat and cried on the asphalt near the institution. The bride could not stand the shame and ended up in the hospital, from where she then went to Moscow.
Less famous Ossetian wives and their relatives agreed to share their marriage stories with Lenta.ru.
Her knees were torn, but, as they say, it's okay
Zarema, 23, helped steal the bride
We stole the girl. I was then with my brother and was sitting in the car. When she left work, we drove up, the guy jumped out, grabbed her and threw her into the car. She was very small, very thin, and when he tossed her, she hit her head on the frame. In my experience, whoever is stolen is always mutilated for some reason. Well, he stole it, dropped it and that's it. As a result, she is completely shocked, whispers: “What's going on? Where are we going?"
At home, we set a huge table in advance. The eldest took her into the room, put her in a corner, and put a kerchief on her. Nobody even asked her anymore - they stole her and immediately dressed her. In general, how it should be: when a girl is stolen, she should be asked if she wants to stay, and then they should tie a kerchief to her. But we did not stand on ceremony, we immediately put on a kerchief, a beautiful white dress, which was also prepared.
When her relatives arrived, she was already wearing a headscarf. They are shocked: how so? And she already, it turns out, agreed
But one day my sister was also stolen. They walked with the young man along the avenue. Sometimes guys with a camera and a microphone walk there and take interviews, ask passers-by different questions. Then they allegedly approached my sister to shoot a report (it was a production organized in advance by her boyfriend) and asked: "Girl, tell me, what would happen if you were kidnapped now?" My sister says: "I would go nuts!" And then they run up to her from behind, throw a cloak over her, start dragging her along the entire avenue. She, of course, was dropped, and not once, and not twice.
video by Alan Gagoev / YouTube
Then they threw her into the car and drove to the village. We gathered in a crowd to pick her up. When we arrived, we were so warmly greeted by his relatives that we even forgot our intention and already decided to leave her there. But one of our aunts still went into her room and asked if she wanted to stay. She agreed. Her knees were ripped apart, but, as they say, it's okay.
We sat down at the table and met everyone. At that time, the groom was not yet there. According to tradition, when the bride's relatives come, the groom must hide - after all, he can be beaten for having stolen the girl. In general, we are not supposed to steal, everyone wants to get married beautifully, by agreement.
The wedding is noisy with might and main, and the bride stands silently in the corner
Valeria, 27 years old, married her sister
My sister's wedding was more or less modern, but, of course, not without tradition. That is, the bride played the wedding separately, and then the groom's side came for her and took her to her wedding. She came to him in an Ossetian outfit, there they took off her veil and put her in a corner. Our bride must spend the entire wedding standing, so my sister was standing. The fun goes on, the wedding is full of noise, and the bride stands silently in the corner.
At some point, she was approached with gifts, it is customary for us to give a lot of jewelry - gold, diamonds … Close friends and relatives begin to put all this on her. They hang a chain, and everyone string their present on it: rings, earrings, many, many jewelry, put something right on the ears, on the fingers. At the same time, everyone tells her some instructions and wishes.
video by Alan Gagoev / YouTube
Then the bride treats the female part of her husband's family with honey. She took the pot and started feeding everyone with one spoon. This symbolizes that they are now a single family that will eat with one spoon all their lives.According to tradition, during a wedding, some guy or boy can steal this pot unnoticed and ask for a ransom for it. The sister's pot was also stolen, and it had to be ransomed for a huge amount, which the thief broke. Therefore, everyone is trying to steal the pot - it will have to be returned at any cost, for any money.
So, the bride stood in the corner for the entire wedding. But at the end of the evening, she nevertheless took off the Ossetian outfit and changed into a European dress. The performances and fun began, a slow dance, a dance between daughter and father. They cut the cake, showed a video about their relationship - a love story. But the main thing with the European part is not to go overboard.
In the end, when all the elders leave and no one pays attention to the young, the bride, as a rule, can also have fun - but in moderation.
video Alan Kokaev / YouTube
She had a lot of experiences, like all girls at Ossetian weddings. She had a very heavy traditional outfit, a bulky construction was built into it, there was a lot of fabric. You stand in all this during the wedding - and it is very hard for you both physically and mentally. Many are nervous, they can hardly bear it. It was also difficult for my sister, because she is very energetic and the suit is uncomfortable. I was also worried about the fact that there were many elders, and the bride should be very modest. The sister constantly pulled herself up and asked if she was being modest enough, if she was doing too much.
I kept myself in hand so as not to fall
Madina, 23 years old, bride
The most difficult thing for me that day was dressing up in the Ossetian national dress. It was heavy, unrealistically heavy, somewhere around 10-15 kilograms (if not more). And I am thin, because of this, my back was very painful, all my ribs ached, because the belt on the dress was pressing very hard. I could hardly stand, could hardly control myself so as not to fall. The hat gave me a severe headache. There is also a hairstyle, these hairpins in my head … When I remember, I have tears in my eyes. It was probably worth it. The dress was rich and beautiful.
It was difficult at first to find contact with her husband's relatives. Someone else's house, someone else's family. They have their own laws, their own rules. In Ossetian families, the daughter-in-law cannot talk to her father-in-law, she cannot be in the same room with him, so it was very difficult for me. When he arrives from work somewhere around seven, you abruptly get up and go into the room. And you don't show up until your father-in-law goes to bed. I get up before him so that I can do my business, make him coffee and hide in my room again. You can’t talk loudly in someone else’s house, after all, you’re a daughter-in-law!
video by Alan Gagoev / YouTube
During the week after the wedding, guests came every day. But I didn't get to talk to them a lot, because my father-in-law was almost always at home. All this week I passed in a white kerchief, but then they had a big feast with all the relatives, there was also a father-in-law. They took off my kerchief, he called me over to him, told me to start talking to him, gave me earrings. Since then, I could go out, when he was at home, I could sit with him at the same table. It's easier now. I was accepted as a daughter, they treat me very carefully. And I am very grateful that they helped me while I was getting used to it, because, for example, I asked: "Do you like pepper or not?" And they answered me normally.
The new mom is very modern, she even lets me sleep until ten o'clock
Ilona, 24 years old, bride
We met in a children's camp, high in the mountains of Ossetia - every summer I went there to rest. They don't say "met" here, they use the word "communicated", so we talked for four years, and one year at a distance. And then he moved to Moscow.
He made an offer to me on December 11 last year. I gave my consent, but without the permission of the elders, nothing would have happened. Therefore, after the New Year, my fiance's uncle, brother and several other relatives came to our house. We also had my elders at home: there must be an uncle, and my parents are not present.
They got to know each other and agreed on when and where the wedding will take place, who will cover what part of the costs. Due to the pandemic, we had to cancel the holiday, we only had a list in the registry office. In the house where I came to live, they made “three cakes” - they set the table and prayed. It is such a tradition when a new person comes to the family.
The next day, my mother-in-law put on a white scarf for me. According to tradition, I had to wear it until my father-in-law allowed me to take it off. But we don't have a father-in-law in our house, so I didn't wear a headscarf for long. On the same day, the mother-in-law said that she had always dreamed of a daughter, and she only had three sons. She asked me to call her mom. It was difficult at first, but then I got used to it. We have developed a warm relationship with her. The new mom is very modern, she even lets me sleep until ten o'clock.
Instead of a honeymoon, my husband and I, his friends and my girlfriends went to the mountains, to the place where we once met. There is now no children's camp, there is a recreation center. It turned out very symbolically. I have made friends with all the other daughters-in-law, my husband has five brothers, and four of them have wives.
Due to the pandemic, we still stayed in Vladikavkaz. To be honest, it was my lifelong dream. My parents moved to Moscow when I was two years old, and I lived for 22 years and felt myself in the wrong place, I always had an obsessive thought: I want to go home. When I came to my grandmother for the summer, leaving, I always cried. We traveled by train for two days, and I cried all the way.
And now I live in the best city and feel great. I go in a taxi, look out the window and realize that I am at home. And that my place is in Ossetia.