The Western-born groom and his family wore traditional garb too, just like most of the guests, including my own little family. We all must have looked like we stepped out of a pictorial “Costumes of Ancient Tibet”.
It was a typical Tibetan wedding with hundreds of guests - none of which were required to sign up or off by the way - plenty of food and drink, in a merry atmosphere of a folk festival. But what made this wedding particularly memorable was the music and the fun time we had dancing.
“Alè”, she went, looking at me as if I were the one coming from another planet.
But the great thing was, she and a lot of other people without Bapa connections, felt the groove. They were all on that stage with the dancers, laughing away, having a good time: Western friends on the groom’s side, Toepa moms, Lhasan couples, Tsangpa elders, a few Amdowas, and Mountain Phoenix with her kids, trying to look “normal” up there. We were all led by the beautiful young bride, who was an exceptionally graceful Bashè dancer.
The Western-born groom didn’t dance. No matter how staunch a patriot he may have been, but like most folks born outside of Tibetan culture, the singing and dancing part just didn’t click. It would have looked out of place also, because meanwhile he had changed into Western attire completely.
My partner? - Never sings nor dances in public. But he’s excused, as far as I’m concerned, because he is among the few, who manage to look masculine even in the funny male Chupa.
The thing that sticks out with Bashe is it can be very modern with really cool, outgoing moves, often involving all parts of your body, including rowing with the arms. There is more freedom for physical expression. Not that you can create your own moves, but within a move, you have space for individual interpretations. At the same time, the music can be spiced up with contemporary beats while the basic step combinations remain technically the same. This makes Bashè a true folk dance, a down-right communal undertaking with three generations dancing to the same music. That’s amazing!