In Honor of Hot Season

I’m reposting part of our March 2012 newsletter. It details my very first Khmer wedding experience, which happened in hot season. Hot season in Cambodia lasts from March to May, and it’s HOT. But it’s a prime time for weddings, due to the lack of rain. We melted at that first wedding. We’ve been to more Khmer weddings since then, but the following list accurately depicts my first impressions.



10. If you live near the wedding, loud music will awaken you and your children at 6:30 am. The decibels will increase until 10:30 pm, when it should hopefully stop. You learn that “very loud” in Khmer is “loo clang.” You find this ironic.

9. If the wedding is right outside your front door, there will be no space for your vehicle to exit. You must take a tuk-tuk (moto drawn taxi) if you want to leave during that day(s).

8. Wear a sparkly dress. The more sparkles, the better.

7. Wear big, sparkly jewelry. The more sparkles, the better.

6. Apply heavy makeup. The heavier, the better.

5. Wear big hair. The bigger, the better

4. Bring a large monetary gift. The amount will be recorded for future reference.

3. Arrive an hour or more late. If you don’t, the bride might not even be dressed yet, and there might only be 3 other guests there. And they’ll be white. Like you.

2. Seat yourself so as to fill a table completely. Do not spread out, even if your inner American wants to. Guests are served only after a table is full. Eat lightly; there will be 6 courses.

1. Avoid the raw salads. Avoid the ice. Eat only cooked foods. Drink only bottled drinks. Pass on the half-cooked pig’s ears. Your stomach will thank you later.