My childhood autumns bore a typical flavour which always melted with the colours of the fruits and crops. The freshest memories of my childhood autumns stand still on the morning and evening freshness. They repeatedly turned the landscape colours into a never-ending surrounding pale to remind people to get prepared for crop harvesting.
The autumns were opening the weddings season. People used to wait to get their wine ready to make the weddings the happiest events of their year where they could enjoy excellent food and drinks. The wine and food quality mattered and people paid much attention since this was a sign of respect and welfare, a basic condition to welcome their relatives to the event appropriately.
Weddings were scheduled on Sundays in such a way to avoid overlapping with other weddings or events. The reason was to enable people to enjoy the full benefits of weddings. There was a sort of unwritten agreement that people who attended a host wedding must be honoured in return with the host presence at their further weddings. That was a life-time exercise of paying back this sort of favour and perhaps pleasure. Otherwise it would have not been fair to miss or skip a wedding event. That meant either ignoring that family or refusing to pay back the favour you benefited from.
What did that mean? In other words it was about helping each other. People used to give some cash as a present to the new couple to help them start a life together. In my village someone from the family organising the wedding collected the money in a sort of bucket, saying loudly how much the contribution was. Therefore it was a question of pride to contribute with a reasonable amount of money since the entire village would hear how much it was. Later on this tradition died in the village and the present was handed to the young couple discreetly in an envelope without announcing how much it was. I heard about people putting leaves instead of cash in the envelope. Life is sometimes so rude!
The wedding was, of course, accompanied by music, all types of music, from traditional songs, preserved century by century in the village or modern music people enjoyed, mainly in the second part of the wedding from midnight on.
I remember a traditional song performed for the bride when she was dressed by her friends, which, as a child, I never understood why its lyrics brought the bride and her family tears in their eyes. The song urged the bride to say good bye to her loved ones and to the place where she has been living. The lyrics also spoke about the house where the bride grew up in comparison with her parents-in-law’s place. They also spoke about the sadness of the bride’s mother “losing” her daughter and the joy of the mother-in-law welcoming her as her daughter-in-law. The song’s conclusion was that nothing in the world could replace your home place, where you grew up, and no one else will treat you as your parents did.
After all I thought this is what the bride wanted and it was unclear to me the reason why she cried. Later I understood the song and its meaning when my elder sister married and left the house. Both song and lyrics embedded a deep sadness. All brides I saw in the village were crying and crying while the grooms felt terribly embarrassed during the song performance.
For us the weddings were the best reason to gather and play games. We were waiting for the event, making lists of games and crafting different game accessories, trying new games we heard here and there and having fun. We were allowed to spend more time playing in the evening until midnight while running everywhere, enjoying excellent food and having fun with the music performed loudly by local orchestras.
I always watched the orchestra instruments closely. The instruments were ancient pieces inherited by the fiddlers from a generation to another. They all had a sort of time stamp on them and I was especially fond of the sounds made by the medieval dulcimer, trumpets, saxophones, accordions and violins. I could not anticipate that one day I would play the violin.
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