My Big Fat Nica Boda

Boda (Spanish for wedding) is one of those words Spanish textbooks love. It is right up there with shirt, bed, pen and family. My memories of grade school and high school Spanish classes are dominated by images of Latino bodas, and all the vocabulary that comes along with a wedding. On Sunday, I got to put my years of wedding vocab to the test when I attended my very first Nicaraguan wedding. My invite came by chance, as I happened to be at my new Nicaraguans friends’ home last Wednesday when their invite was hand delivered by the groom himself! These new friends, Lillian and Daniela, along with their large, spirited, and exceptionally welcoming family run a weaving cooperative out of their house in León. I have been visiting them every Wednesday and learning to weave on their massive, hand-powered loom. Anyway, the groom, some family member of Daniela’s (everyone seems to be related in this city), insisted that I come along and experience a Nica wedding!

Coming from a large family myself, I have had the pleasure of attending quite a few weddings in my day. I have been to small weddings and large weddings, outdoor and indoor weddings, church weddings and civil ceremonies, but a common dominator in all of these has been the attire- guests typically wear dresses, skirts, nice dress pants or a suit. My history of weddings was on my side when I put on my nicest sundress, only to show up and be the dressiest person in the room other than the bride. What a shock it was to find everyone in jeans and t-shirts, as if I didn’t stand out enough being the only non-Nicaraguan in the room! The differences didn’t end there- the dancing and drinking were replaced with hours of joke telling and group games (during one of which I was elected to cluck like a chicken in front of the entire bridal party- I wish I was kidding!). It was such an enjoyable day, filled children running around and adults laughing and delicious food.*

*Update: This blog was written immediately after the wedding on Sunday. It is now Tuesday, my second day of being bedridden from an unpleasant case of food poisoning, presumably from the wedding. Do I regret it? No way, food poisoning is almost inevitable down here- a right of passage if you will. And, I got to enjoy my very first My Big Fat Nica Boda with some wonderful Nica friends- what’s better than that?

That’s all for now, more stories to come from the always entertaining Nicaragua…!

Mary Maloney
León, Nicaragua