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Education Matters: Witnessing the power of love

November 12, 2010|By Dan Kimber

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

I've been invited to some very interesting weddings of former students over the years. Going back 30 years ago, one of my all-time favorite students, Melineh, invited me to my first Armenian wedding — I came to the church at the time mentioned on the invitation and found myself in the parking lot with no other cars and five minutes to go for the start of things.

A full half-hour after the appointed time, people began arriving. It was explained to me later that Armenian weddings rarely start on time, so I learned and made the adjustment for future invitations.

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When the bride and groom made their appearance at the reception, they came in dancing and proceeded to snake their way around all the tables, picking up guests to join in. The song lasted about 45 minutes, and just about all of the 400 people in attendance were part of a very long line, including a handful of us who weren't moving like everyone else. But it was a blast, and what a marvelous way for these two young people to celebrate the moment.

It was also a fitting prelude to the feast that followed. When it comes to food, Armenian weddings are like Italian weddings, with food enough for three times the number of people in attendance. (My wife is Italian, and I know of what I speak.)

One of the more interesting weddings of two former students involved a Romanian groom with a Korean bride. Two ministers presided, one Korean and one Romanian, each alternating speaking the words of the service, with those few of us English-only speakers straining to understand and looking forward to the reception.

This wedding, and a number of others I've attended over the years that joined two people with different backgrounds, left me with a good feeling by providing a perfect portrait of this melting pot of a nation that I have been teaching about. It also stirs the romantic in me, who believes in the power of love to overcome all obstacles, including those who would say, "Stick to your own kind."

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