When I first saw this article online I was immediately able to see what it was about but I am sure if you were not from Jordan or did not know its culture I doubt you will be able to understand. Since I am from Jordan I think I have a very clear and a good idea about Weddings in my country, so I know I can offer an informed description of weddings here.
It was not long ago that a relative sent me a video about a lavish engagement party with the famous Arab singer Ragheb Alamah singing, it took place in the capital Amman. I wish I was able to share the video but I have to respect the couple and their family’s privacy, however, I think if you search Jordanian Weddings on YouTube you will get plenty of videos offering a clear idea of what weddings are like in this country.
Weddings in Jordan can vary significantly depending on social background and the amount of money the couple decides to spend on their wedding (just like anyone else), having a superstar like Ragheb Alamah come to sing at your wedding can be very costly. I have to admit weddings can be less extravagant held at small venues but for sure when I saw this photo for these two couples having their wedding in the same place and time, I instantly assumed this must be a mass wedding organized by one of the charities or community organizations to help people with limited means in their wedding expenses. And I was not mistaken, after tracking the photo I found it was originally from Reuters photos stock under the title “Brides speak to their grooms during a mass wedding ceremony in Amman July 6, 2012. An Islamic charity organized a mass wedding for 46 Jordanian and Syrian couples who are unable to afford expensive ceremonies.”, and business insider included with its article titled “31 beautiful photos of traditional wedding dresses from around the world”.
Reading this article I was surprised to learn about the “green silk cloth” and I can tell this is very unusual for Jordanian women to wear at their weddings which according to the writer it symbolizes growth, harmony, and safety, after looking into her sources she has referenced a journalistic article that discusses the connotations of Arabic color terms along with a description offered from a book titled “Culture and Customs of Jordan”. To be honest I could not tell what this green fabric that women in my country wear at their weddings but I had to dig more, going back to the book, it turned out it was discussing Jordanian Beduin weddings customs referring to a family living in the desert and as the author described the bride going out of the family’s tent. Lifestyle and conditions have shifted tremendously in Jordan where living in tents is no longer an option for the majority of people, urban development has changed people’s way of life in the past forty years.
Let me tell you a bit about Weddings in Jordan, perhaps I can offer a more accurate picture, the bride wears most of the time white wedding dress so much similar to the American or British bride, however, if she was a woman who wears hijab she usually wears a loosely tailored head cover called ‘Yanes’ or keeps her hijab that due to the occasion can be above the ordinary beside making sure the wedding dress has long sleeves.
In summary, this is how this article was constructed:
An image of a mass wedding (which rarely takes place) + A headline describing Jordanian women as wearing silk green cloth (which is currently unpopular) + To add validation a journalistic article describing the significance of color green in Arabic culture was referenced
“Voilà”. You have a well-designed article that reflects an entertaining image so far away from the real one. Making it entertaining rather than adding knowledge.
Business Insider article was cleverly researched but poorly constructed which ended up making the image fit the content, I do understand that the writer wanted to offer the traditional way for weddings in various countries, except when she tried to highlight a Jordanian wedding she offered a very uncommon and exceptional image about how weddings can be.
Hijabi Bride: Boredpanda
Mass Wedding: Reuters