"Toy", the Azeri word for wedding, is the reason we wake up, grow up, live, study, make friends and later lose them for husband's "no".
"Toy" is a wonderful opportunity to meet up with endless amount of relatives from all over the country and show them how rich and cool we are. We argue and yell at each other over every single detail of the "toy" - starting from the bride's dress (which is usually bought by the groom), or groom's suit (bought by the bride), amount of jewelery brought for the girl or seats for each family. Old relatives terrorise us to hurry up, because they wanna live to see our wedding and dare to argue here. But what is most important - neither bride nor groom decide ANYTHING about their own wedding. "Toy" is the culmination of our lives, the edge of the world almost every girl here prepares for ever since she gets her first period.
The rulers of the wedding are mothers. If groom's mother is rich enough she buys all the clothing and jewelery for the bride from Dubai or Istanbul. She is always updated with the prices for gold in the world and usually remembers every single thing she brought for the girl till the end of her or bride's life. Bride's mother analyses the gifts and decides whether to gossip off or praise the new in-laws.
After several months of mutual torture, arguements and several brake ups the wedding is finally on. Friends and neighbours with expensive cars escort the main car, drive fast and honk all the way to the restaurant. After 6 hours of exhausting wedding parents count money the guests brought while bride and groom can't even think of spending their first night - the only thing they can do is crash on bed and fall into a sleeping coma.
My brother got married when he was 22. A close girlfriend of mine got married at the age of 21 to her very first boyfriend. Somehow both couples manage to stay happy or at least to look so.
Perhaps, something is wrong with me that I can't understang how one makes this important decision without any life experience. But I do realise one thing - here it's normal.
Many girls here get raised with one major aim in life - to get married. Yes, it's not THAT important where or what they study, but what really matters is how many azeri meals they can cook. They are programmed. Some of them never travelled without their mothers, because "girl's dignity is easy to sully". The best entertainment for them is... someone else's "toy". It is also the best way to show how beautiful you are and after wait for the call of mother's acquaintances with a purpose to introduce you to their sons. So we live from "toy" to "toy" waiting for the one of our own.
Guys are allowed to live lives of their own untill their parents decide - it's time. Then the race starts. And even very sane ones can't resist the pressure and give up - they marry ones they're told to horrifyingly often. If it's necessary - they break up with current girlfriends, come back from abroad and do all sorts of forced things. In a couple of moths after the wedding they usually find themselves mistresses. Some do it even earlier.
Today, in our society, the "necessity of a wedding" beats up not only romance and the whole "happily ever after" concept but a very needed in marriage "mature approach" as well.
I tried to figure out why exactly it's happening to us and then it just came up - we simply enjoy going S&M with our lives. And "toy" here is just another toy for tortures.
P.S. and of course, as every rule, this one has its exceptions. Like this: