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Cultural Corner: ...and she said "yes"!

In light of recent events that took place on our campus, we would like to have a look at engagement and wedding traditions around the world.

All around the globe, you can find a broad spectrum of different wedding traditions. Consequently, there are many different views of what is appropriate and how a wedding should be celebrated: How important is the family and how many guests can or should be invited? Are the festivities small and intimate or pompous and opulent? Is the wedding considered primarily a religious or a secular procedure? What do items like rings, clothing, food and much more symbolize? But before the party gets started, the engagement itself is also a ritual with a lot of cultural implications. Do you need the parents’ permission to get engaged? Are there special traditional phases the couple has to stick to or do they plan everything by themselves? How do you create an engagement you will never forget?

At TU Dortmund University we had the pleasure to experience a marriage proposal by one of our international alumni couples! Iván from Mexico and Sarah from the U.S. met at our university in 2013 during their year abroad. A whole scheme was planned beforehand – our alumni team allegedly shooting a film on the math building – so Sarah didn´t get suspicious when the two of them climbed the stairs right up to the roof of the math tower next to the rotating TU logo. Up there, Iván bent his knee and told his girlfriend how much he loved her, her craziness and how she made him feel. After that, it was no surprise when he took out the engagement ring and asked “Sarah, will you marry me?” – and she said “yes”!

So what do you think, is the math tower now not only a symbol for academic excellence, but also for love?