Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wedding, Galicia style

I've finally had a few moments to process the photos from two weeks back when I went to the wedding of my Spanish teacher and one of my colleagues. Apart from the whole getting married bit, a Galician wedding focuses mostly around seafood, and this one was no exception, with course after course of stunning lobster, crab, langoustine, clams and more, all washed down with a rather fine white wine from the region of the Ribeira Sacra.

As with all things Spanish, retiring early is simply not on the cards and the wedding crowd finally dispersed into the early morning drizzle at around 7am. A very enjoyable evening and I'll certainly be heading back to Ourense, the closest city to the village where the wedding was held, for some sightseeing.

As an aside I discovered that confetti is not the Italian for bits of paper thrown at weddings. Confetti, in Italian means small sweets (usually sugar coated almonds) which are eaten at weddings - but certainly not thrown! The Italian for confetti is coriandoli. It appears that this word came into the English language via a confusion of meanings along with pepperoni/peperone (sausage in English, bell pepper in Italian) and bimbo (derogatory term for an apparently unintelligent woman in English, boy in Italian)


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great time but you had me worried for a moment when you were clarifying that Confetti, in Italian means small sweets. I thought for a minute you were about to say instead of confetti (Spagetti)was thrown. Congratulations to the happy couple

Luca said...

About confetti/coriandoli.
Confetti are sweets of Italy -- sugar-coated almonds -- the origin of the word is unknown to me though. And you may be surprised but it was (and probably still is) thrown at weddings in some regions. More common is to throw rice, which symbolizes good luck or fortune.
Coriandoli is the Italian word for coriander, which was thrown during Carnival. Because of the dangerousness of the thing the invention of "coriandoli", which as you know are pieces of (usually colored) paper.

About Italian words in English. First time I got to US pepperoni was one of the things that got me confused because of the meaning, along with bimbo, guido and the sort.

Unknown said...

Hi Luca, thanks for the information. So we weren't too far off in thinking that confetti was what you threw!

How throwing coriander at weddings can be dangerous, I'm not too sure though :-)

I haven't found as many words in Spanish which we mangle as in Italian, though I'm sure there are some.


Luca said...

Confetti at wedding (I think especially in the South, in the North rice is more common), coriander at Carnival. Anyhow. The story goes that coriander was thrown as it is, namely the seed which is pretty rough, but because people love excess they started to cover it with other stuff making it bigger.

Or so is what my dad told my brother and me, when we were kids.