Art of Love Around the World
| ||How do people in other cultures express love?Lovers from around the world express affection for each other by creating art as symbolic gestures when performing marriage proposals, exchanging vows at weddings, and even when mourning the death of a spouse. We have compiled a list of traditions celebrated in different countries that lovers celebrate in order to express their love for each other. These timeless traditions prove that the power of love flourishes through the creativity of the mind and spirit.|
|Origami Butterflies Used in Japanese Wedding Ceremonies :|
Japanese wedding ceremonies still include an male and female origami butterfly (called ocho mecho) to glorify sake bottle stoppers. This paper folding art dates all the way back to the 17th century and is still in use at some Japanese wedding ceremonies today.
Finnish Brides Crown The Next Generation With Love:
In Finland, brides traditionally walk down the isle to marry their prince wearing a decorative crown. Traditionally, the crown's rim is made of brass to fit her head, with the facing portion made of silver or gold and garnished with precious stones. At the wedding reception, the ladies form a circle. Holding the coveted crown, the bride spins around many times. When the bride stops, she crowns the lucky lady standing in front of her. This newly crowned maiden will be the next bride-to-be. Families form a sense of pride around these cherished family heirlooms. It is not uncommon for multiple generations of brides to wear the same elegant crown.
May Trees of Germany :
Single ladies in the Rhineland of Germany expect their suitors to set up a birch tree decorated with hearts and crepe paper in front of their house. This tradition started as a village auction to promote marriage dating back to the 17th century called Mailehenbrauch. Young men join friends on April 30 to chop down their May trees. Then on May 1st, the men set up the trees while their ladies in waiting gather in the town square for a festival.
Mehndi - Hindu Bridal Art :
Many cultural experts would agree that the the celebrations of marriage in the Hindu faith are the most colorful and elaborate ceremonies and parties of any culture. As an integral part of the celebration, Indian brides hire artists to decorate their hands and feet with elaborate designs using an art form called Mehndi. Mehndi artists use Henna to apply temporary tattoos, which add to the regal qualities of the big day. Sometimes the groom and the bridesmaids wear the henna tattoos too, but understandably the bride always appears with the most elaborate designs.
The art of Mehndi has evolved to become a larger part of a typical Hindu wedding and a profitable business in India. Mehndi artists charge between 150 and 1500 USD for their services, which does not include gifts expected as a bonus. In the past, only close family and the female members of the wedding party privately witnessed the application of the Mehndi art in the bride's home. However, the art form's popularity has transformed a private moment into a large gathering that is only rivaled by the reception organized after the vows are exchanged.
Japanese Burial Tradition :
Using art as an expression of love can be done in death as well life. The Japanese people traditionally cremate their dead and bury the ashes in a family plot. Tall monuments are erected with the dates of the monuments creation and the name of the person who purchased the monument. The name of the deceased and his spouse are added to the sides of the monument. The surviving spouse will paint their name in red as a token of love to their recently deceased spouse. This action states that the surviving spouse will follow their loved one into the grave.
The hit NBC television show, Heroes, demonstrated this Japanese art of love during a recent second season episode. During a flashback to the funeral of Hiro's mother, Hiro's father stepped up to his wife's tombstone and painted his name.
Carved Lovespoons of Wales :
As an age old tradition in Wales, the suiters expressed their desire to take a wife by carving a block of wood into the shape of a spoon, called a lovespoon. The suitor carves the spoon from a single piece of wood. The artist will whittle out special shapes and etchings into handle and cup part of the spoon to give the object special meaning. For instance, an anchor may mean, "I am ready to settle down," or vines may mean, "my love will grow."
The purpose of the carving and presenting the spoons is different in respect to the father of the betroth and his daughter. In the case of the father, the suitor wants to give an example of how good he is with his hands, which in turns shows that he will be able to provide for his future bride. For the lady, the spoons signify how much affection the suitor wants to share with her. The more ornate and symbolism the spoons show, the more chances the suitor will have at winning his lover.
Evidence shows that the carving of lovespoons goes back to the fifteen century in Wales. The oldest lovespoon on record is a lovespoon on display in the Museum of Life at St. Fagar's in Cardiff that was dated back as late as 1660. Today, these spoons are exchanged by the welsh people, much like Americans exchange diamond rings during a wedding engagement. Some companies hand carve the spoons and sell them to suiters or smaller versions as wedding favors given to wedding guests.