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First Asian Wedding in Monaghan

It is believed that history was made in Monaghan Town on Tuesday, August 9th 2016 when the first Asian Wedding took place in the town. Rashed Hasan Raju, who is employed in the Eastern Balti Restaurant in Park Street, was wed to Fateha Khatun, a nurse. Event Organiser, Mary White, invited me to meet Raju and chat to him about the event with the idea of taking photos for which would mean that family members and relations and neighbours in Bangladesh, from where Raju's family comes, would be able to see my photographic record of the wedding. I met with Raju and two of his brothers, Muhon and Hira, and what an education that was. We went through the traditions of their Islamic faith and the process of the wedding. The ceremony and reception would be held in St. Joseph's Pastoral Centre, Monaghan, and the food would be prepared and served by members of the family, who are all in the catering business, assisted by current and former staff of eastern Balti. Had this wedding taken place in Bangladesh there would have been anything up to 2,000 invited guests and all would have been fed and treated royally. As it was, almost 300 guests attended the ceremony in Monaghan, and this consisted of friends the couple have made in Ireland and relatives, who were able to travel from Asia and the UK as well as other areas in Ireland. Chief official at the wedding was Dr. Salah. The arrival of the guests at the Pastoral Centre attracted much attention due to the beautiful colours and outfits worn by the female guests. The reception room itself was beautifully decorated with whites and reds being the predominant colours. The official rituals were conducted in a private room and I was privileged to attend and then the Groom and his family went to the Reception Room followed by the Bride and her family. Dr. Salah spoke of the rite of wedding and offered prayers for the couple, wishing them long lives of health and happiness. Photos were taken and all the guests were invited to have a photo taken with the couple as the meal was being served to 'the first sitting'. The wide variety of food dishes was another new experience as it was cooked and served as it would be in their homes and there was plenty of it for all.

When all the photos were taken the couple with their assistants and family members had their meal. Later there was tea and the cutting of the cake and everyone got a piece of the nicely decorated wedding cake.
This was certainly something new for Monaghan and I must say both families and all the visiting guests were extremely friendly and generous to all and made us Irish feel very welcome. It was a wonderful occasion and one that we will all remember for a lifetime. We would like to wish Raju and Fateha a long and happy life together and thank them for having us at their ceremony.