The Bateman Family

Batemans in Argentina

Shawn Bateman, Misionary to Argentina

November 10, 2017

“Lessons In Culture” 


“Lessons In Culture” 


This past Saturday we went to our second wedding in South America. They are different. Really I like weddings here more than I do in the States, because they make a much bigger deal about it than we do. It is pretty much an all day event. So here are a few things that are different.

1.- Don’t get there on time, ain’t nobody else getting there on time either. The wedding “started” at 12:00, we showed up at around 12:20 the bride showed up at almost 1:00. This is not an isolated case; this is every wedding. A friend told me that he was once asked to sing in a wedding, and the wedding was supposed to start at five so he needed to be there at three. The wedding started at nine that night.

2.- Two ceremonies. There is the religious ceremony and the civil ceremony. So after they say their “I dos” and go down the isle, they will have the civil ceremony either right before the reception, or they will go back down the aisle and preform the civil ceremony at the altar. They are not officially married until the civil ceremony is preformed.

3.- People stay. After the wedding the people go to the reception just like they do in the states. However the big difference is that people stay. People here in South America are generally more social than we are in the States. We actually left early (after we had been there for 5 hours) and some of my friends stayed till 7 (they had to leave early also) and the reception was still going strong.

4.- Padrinos. The word padrino translates to our English word “Godfather”. The padrinos of the wedding are friends or family that help pay for the wedding. Sometimes there are multiple padrinos. The padrino of the rings, padrino of the honeymoon, padrino of the food, etc.

5.- Speeches. While there are at times speeches in the States, here both the fathers speak, as well the padrinos, and the bride and groom. They of course will thank everyone for coming and celebrating the special occasion. The fathers will also give advice and their blessings to the new couple.

This is just a quick view into our lives here south of the equator. I love learning and having new cultural experiences, it is just one of the many things that makes a missionary’s life exciting.


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