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White Girl Brown World: Call Me Bhougie

This weekend wrapped up the second of two huge family weddings. This time, it was my husband’s cousin Ananta getting married. He now lives in Florida, as does his now-wife Diana. So to accommodate both sides of the family, the maticore, wedding ceremony and kangan were held in Orlando. Fast forward a weekend later, and the wedding reception was held here in New York City. So yes, not only was this wedding four days long (five, if you count the second kangan, basically a big curried meat fest, scheduled for today) but spanned two weekends. When it comes to weddings, Guyanese people can never be accused of “keeping it small.”

Last night was Ananta and Diana’s reception, and it had all the trappings of a traditional American wedding reception. Bride in a white dress, bridal party including two flower girls, first dance, speeches, multi-tiered wedding cake.

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I was one of the few white girls in the room but after so very many years, I think we’ve gotten to the point where no one — especially me — notices. As my husband’s cousin Vick told me while sharing a drink at the bar, “You know what I like about you? What you see is what you get. You’re a very honest person. You’re not just married into the family;  you’re one of us.”

Awww Vick. That choked me up. Then, later on in the evening, one of my husband’s many cousins referred to me as “Bhougie.” (Say it with me. BOW-gee.) I looked at Sid and laughed. What?! Bhougie is a nickname for “sister-in-law.” The only Bhougies I know of in Sid’s family are — sorry — old ladies.  What was he saying? I’m now past my prime? We all laughed. But as Sid told me later, “Bhougie is a term of respect. You should be very honored.”

Well then. Bhougie it is. Only I’m the younger, paler, hotter version.

But before the reception even happened, Ananta and Diana had a beautiful, fun-fulled, Florida-in-August-hot wedding. Let me share with you their wedding journey. (Click on the photos to enlarge and view the slideshow.)



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