What are family traditions?
Let us turn to history. Attitude to marriage in Montenegro has always been very serious. The wife, so to speak, knew her place and did not interfere in the affairs of her husband. There was a rule that in some modern Montenegrin families is very relevant to this day. The rule says - the wife commands the house (in the kitchen and with the children), and the husband commands the outside. Maybe that is why in Montenegro it is so often possible to meet men sitting in cafes who are not in a hurry to go home, but rather stretch pleasure in independent territories.
Thus, from ancient times the wife knew the limits of her influence, she had to be always modest and obedient. For example, she did not have the right on the street to intervene in her husband's conversation with others, even if she heard insulting or humorous speeches against him, this did not concern her. Moreover, it was not allowed to be judged by her husband with other people.
The husband, in turn, with strangers did not show any tenderness, nor the slightest courtesy of his wife. In addition, for disobedience, at his discretion, he could punish his wife. Negosh wrote about such obedience, and this saying became popular wisdom, in translation it sounds like this: “When my wife asks me where I was, I will say that I sowed salt in the field, uh, and she will receive from me if she does not believe!” If the wife did not bring posterity, could not give birth to a son, the Montenegrin husband had the right to divorce or take another wife, the first at the same time retaining their rights and often finding a new, usually young and healthy wife for her husband. Preservation and procreation was, of course, the main purpose of marriage.
How did marriages take place in Montenegro?
At first it was necessary to choose a bride. Of course, they didn’t manage without the help of professionals, it was easy to get information about where, in which village you could find a profitable and attractive bride on all sides. In addition, young people could meet their future wife in specially designated places, markets or places where beauties could show themselves.
I always chose the bridegroom, the bride did not have the right to make such a choice, her parents decided everything for her. And the time for marriage was limited, it was in demand and had a chance of successful offers only between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. Tellingly, a man's marriage was always unlimited.
When the groom was determined with a choice, he consulted with the father, an important factor was from which girl of the family, what kind, what surname, who was the father, etc. When the details were agreed, the alleged bride went to the family to negotiate. As a rule, the delegation consisted of the groom's father and his elder brother or the closest male relative. Negotiations in the house of the girl have always been long and detailed, never resolved quickly, sometimes lasted several days. And when everything was harmonious and everyone was happy, they always shot the bride out of the window of the house with a gun, as a sign of universal agreement. The process of preparing for the wedding was, naturally, long, not so easy to organize a holiday in two villages and at least five hundred people.
How is this happening now?
Much simplified, in most cases, marriages are made by mutual consent and love. And yet many traditions have been preserved. The wedding begins with the fact that the bridegroom with a support group, mostly with male relatives, is sent to pick up the bride from her house. Having passed the obstacles arranged by her relatives and friends, having bribed this sympathetic company with money, gifts and wine, he finally took his bride.
According to custom, in the old days, this moment was shot with a gun, which meant that the groom did receive the bride. They also fired a rifle when one family or clan greeted another family or clan, while the head or elder of the family carried their clan flag.
Now shooting at weddings is officially banned, and it was replaced by car alarm. After the official ceremony, the bride is taken to the groom's house, and here she is waiting for the following. First, she receives an apple or an orange from her mother-in-law and father-in-law and throws it in the direction of her new house, because, as it should be, the wife goes to live with her husband. Then she gives the groom’s support group gifts, which, in theory, should do with their own hands. Then she takes the little boy from the family, whom her husband's relatives had prepared for her in advance, and crosses the threshold of the house with him. This is done so that she quickly gave birth to a son. And finally, the holiday begins!
What can you say about the celebration?
The wedding in Montenegro is celebrated for at least two days, and in two stages. The first day, Saturday, is a farewell. Relatives and friends of the bride gather in the bride’s house or restaurant, only his brothers are present from the groom’s side, he himself is not allowed and celebrates his own farewell with his friends separately.
The second day is Sunday. It is on this day that the bridegroom takes the bride and, after registering the marriage, takes her to his house or restaurant, it all depends on the circumstances, material wealth and the number of guests. The bride dresses the white dress, of course, on the second solemn day, and I must say that the brides here belong together without fanaticism and do not attach much importance to it, the dresses are taken or rented, or from close relatives. Men, including the groom himself, adore wearing a national cap on the head with a coat of arms of Montenegro at the wedding.
“Bitter” is not customary to shout here, but not a single wedding is complete without “toast” - this is a speech addressed to the young, a kind of toast with the wishes of health, children and well-being. After such a “toast”, those present support the person who utters a loud and powerful song so that everything will come true for sure. No cost wedding without dancing.
The national dance, somewhat reminiscent of Greek and Irish at the same time, is performed by embracing, all the guests are those who are still able to stand. But what about the trumpeters? Trumpeters and musicians accompany a rich wedding from beginning to end, not letting young people, guests or others relax, leaving a long and unforgettable trace in the memory of people.