The marital ceremony where one sleeps for the benefit of the bride..

In Sri Lanka the bride meets her husband the morning of the ceremony then spends the rest of the day asleep, feigned or real, until the festivities of the evening arrive. Of course, the festivities cannot begin until the three guests selected to sleep with the bride during the day have each awakened and expressed their desire to continue with the ceremony. To the wary-eyed westerner, it should be stated that the guests do indeed sleep in spearate rooms, neither with each other, and certainly not with the bride. The Buddhist monks would never stand for such unconscious comingling before the nuptial ceremony!

It is after a long and peaceful sleep that I awaken only to be told that the bride and groom will now be married. 'Oh!' said Janaki, 'We were afraid that you would not awaken until next morning!' I want to know why I was never told. 'Well, they did tell you, but in Shinhala.. that was when you left the room.' I thought they were angry with me for intruding. 'Oh.. Noooo' She says, obviously amused, 'They were delighted to have a foreigner act as one of their guests.' It was a good thing I was so exhausted from the trip, and what exactly was it the maid gave me to drink?... Why didn't you tell me. You speak English. 'Oh.. I could not, it is not for me to choose, and if I had, I certainly would not have chosen you.. we could have been waiting the rest of the week for you to wake up..'