Qishm: The Mysterious Island

Qishm: The Mysterious Island
by msabaye

Last year when I was in Qishm Island doing research on Zar, a dear friend told me that one of her relatives had just got married. She suggested that we should go and visit their bride chamber or hijlah as we call it. I was taken aback as I could not possibly imagine stepping into such private realm. But she, a native of Bandar Abbas, assured me that it was perfectly alright. That people did go to see the bride chamber as a custom and urged me to go with her. Well, I am not sure whether it was “being able to resist anything but the temptation” or my curiosity that convinced me to follow her advice.
We went there and met with this beautiful young bride and her family. They took us to the bride chamber; it was amazing. I had never seen anything like it. This was a room, in the bride’s family home, decorated with lights, colourful objects, tiny statues, etc. It must have taken weeks or even months to decorate this place. The result was an amazing ing symphony of light and colour. Apparently, following the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom spend one month to forty days in this room. After that they would leave the parents’ home for their own place of residence. I could not find out where the custom came from or how/when it started, but for days to come, I was dazzled with that spectacular display of colour and light.
Later, at the ferry station to Hara Forest, I noticed they had set up a bride chamber for tourists to take photos. It was nice but not quite what I had seen in the real sense. One of the locals wanted to take his picture taken there; so I obliged. I thought that it was sweet that this man probably wanted to get married and wished him luck. It turned out that he did not need my best wishes for that as luck had been on his side already three times! I was told he had three wives and keenly looking for the fourth…


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