I had the privilege of being invited to a Greenlandic wedding. A friend of mine from Bulgaria got married to a very nice Inuit guy born in Aasiaat (one of the biggest towns in Greenland, located in the southern end of Disko Bay). Nikolina and Kunuk got married in Nuuk, and it was such an honor to attend the ceremony,
It was a tradition many years ago, that adults arranged marriage for their children. They had no other option since it was a necessity at their community, though there was no need to have a ceremony, just a blessing by their parents and relatives. Good to know polygamous unions don’t exist anymore.
A modern Greenlandic wedding
Nikolina is the Bulgarian bride; she is working in Nuuk and now living with Kunuk and their friendly dog Woody. She loves Greenland as much as she loves her husband Kunuk.
“He proposed me on my birthday in 2018 with a sticky note while playing a board game. I didn’t expect it, so it felt great and right!”, says Nikolina.
At Nikilona & Kunuk wedding, friends and relatives from all over the world (Bulgaria, Denmark, Greenland, Gran Canaria, Nepal, Rusia, India and Mexico) were invited and we all enjoyed the marvelous event.
The mass took place at the Nuuk Cathedral next to the Old Colonial Harbour, also known as Annaassisitta Oqaluffia. This church is close to the sculpture of the Mother of the seas, called Sedna.
In Inuit mythology, they consider Goddess of the sea, the most important spirit in the Inuit underworld. She lives at the bottom of the ocean and controls the balance of the amount of animal hunters and fishermen can get.
The speech given by the priest was so beautiful and cheerful! Nikolina, as a bride living in Nuuk, was wearing a colorful west Greenlandic clothing.
They kissed each other and we all celebrated it outside of the church. Kunik is the name of the famous Inuit kiss. And of course, as a tradition they ended up pelted with rice, pictures, hugs, laughs and good vibes from all of us.
What the bride and groom wore: Greenland National Costume
The anorak is made of fabric, adorned with black seal skin around the wrists and the neck, plus beads with geometrical patterns opening to large and heavy collar made of these small pieces of glass reaching down to the elbows, covering the back and the breasts. And the trousers are basically shorts made of dark sealskin.
She was also wearing kamik boots, made of avittat (small pieces of dyed sealskin leather), and the upper part includes white and floral embroidery. Plus she was holding a beautiful and small purse made of sealskin, a red roses bouquet, polar bear earrings and necklace (made of narwhal whale tusk), tied up hair and the brightest smile!
Kunuk was wearing black trousers, black shoes and the traditional white anorak made of fabric, and the polar bear on the necklace.
She has no traditional costume, so they had to rent it for 2,000 DKK. The price for the Greenlandic national costume is around 20,000 DKK.
A Greenlandic Wedding Reception
After the ceremony, we enjoyed a kaffemik next to the harbor, where there were a lot of different dishes, desserts and drinks. Some of their guests brought the dishes, cakes, and monkey cupcakes regarding the nicknames the couple has to call each other (monkeys).
They changed their clothes and put on elegant suit and white dress. The music at the kaffemik was cherry on the cake. Her favorite local band, Nanook, played acoustic songs at the party, and they chose one of their songs for the wedding dance!
Inuit dance and dance mask are popular at almost every gathering or ceremony, and it hasn’t been an exception during the kaffemik.
And a few days later the spent their honey moon in the USA.