Nukoot in Arab Weddings
BY: Sara Alsayed / Arab America Contributing Writer
Arab Weddings have always been lavish and marvelous and are always full of traditions and customs, which may differ from one region to another. One of those traditions is the Nukoot.
Nukoot is a sum of money offered to the groom or bride individually by his/ her friends and relatives on their wedding day as an expression of joy and pleasure. It is usually given at the end of the wedding and can come in many forms. For example, in Palestine, the Nukoot could include money, gold, the dinner that is held after the wedding, the singer, and even the photographers.
The money is either put in an envelope, or it could be in the shape of long necklaces and given to the bride and groom. It could be made out of Dollars, Shekels, Dinar, etc, and the amount is always huge. The more money you get, the more respect and honor you get.
However, the Nukoot does not only give you respect and honor. It also helps the groom and bride financially. It reduces the burden of wedding costs. For example, A Palestinian family living in a village once paid 10 thousand dollars for the wedding, but the Nukoot they received covered all the costs.
It is extremely important in weddings, as it is an integral part of Arab weddings to the point that some may give the bride and groom an empty envelope without a name to escape the embarrassment of not giving them anything.
The idea of Nukoot is to encourage social solidarity and unity in the community, yet, it could also be seen as a burden to the receiver, as they know that it must be returned to the giver. Religiously, it should be looked at as a gift. However, as mentioned previously, the Arab society looks at it as a type of loan that is eventually given back. For instance, if Omar were to give the bride and groom a Nukoot of 100 dollars, then when someone from Omar’s family gets married, they will give the same amount of cash to the bride and groom; therefore, the loan will be repaid.
Despite this, the amount of love between the groom and bride and their loved ones is not measured by the amount of money given still, it is desirable to offer it to those who are financially able to do so. However, a real relationship knows no interest and is not affected by the economic status and would wish them happiness and health no matter what.
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