Reception Ideas

Cultural sensitivities?

minealoneminealone
5 Love Its First Comment
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edited November 13 in Reception Ideas
hi all! Longtime lurker, first time poster here.

so our upcoming California wedding is a westernized Arabian nights theme. I’m Arab so I’m super excited to add a few traditions/decor from my home town. Think lanterns and golden pitchers 

I have an idea for an arab styled background for our photobooth; something like this:

https://pin.it/agKJo5j

Im stumped when it comes to props though.. most of our guests are white American and there’s been a lot of controversy about cultural appropriation, especially in our part of the country. I want things that are fun and people wouldn’t be reluctant to have fun with. Am I overthinking this? Any thoughts? 

Re: Cultural sensitivities?

  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited November 14
    minealone said:
    hi all! Longtime lurker, first time poster here.

    so our upcoming California wedding is a westernized Arabian nights theme. I’m Arab so I’m super excited to add a few traditions/decor from my home town. Think lanterns and golden pitchers 

    I have an idea for an arab styled background for our photobooth; something like this:

    https://pin.it/agKJo5j

    Im stumped when it comes to props though.. most of our guests are white American and there’s been a lot of controversy about cultural appropriation, especially in our part of the country. I want things that are fun and people wouldn’t be reluctant to have fun with. Am I overthinking this? Any thoughts? 
    OK.  Since you are from an Arab culture, you are not appropriating another culture.  This would be a horrible idea if you were not connected with the culture.  As it is, you are free to use elements of your own culture at your wedding.

    "White" Americans (whatever that is) are usually accepting of other cultures.  That is how this country grew and evolved.  Enjoy your wedding.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • SP29SP29
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    That's a good point Southernbelle.

    OP- as it is part of YOUR culture, you may include an aspects that you wish. But a good point made by Southernbelle to think about how these elements may be used. Decor is one thing- and I like the photo back ground you are thinking of, but would you want certain elements of your culture being used in "silly" ways? The props do not have to match the background.
  • I know that I’m not appropriating my own culture lol I’m not worried about that part.

    I was more worried about my guests having fun and not second guessing what they can or cannot do I guess. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing people dancing around in a turban and having fun with it. I think its all innocent fun in this particular context, but I wonder if some guests might give others that side eye and be uncomfortable with it. I want people to enjoy my culture, but I definitely don’t want my wedding to turn into a judgy political/social discussion, especially since his family is mostly conservative and our friends are very liberal. And yeah, I was a bit concerned with the possible social media backlash. I’m probably just overthinking it. 

    It didn’t occur to me that the props don’t have to match the background, thanks everyone! 

    ahoywedding
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited November 15
    Don’t overthink it. Just give everyone some hats and oversized mustaches and they will be happy. If you want to throw in some props from you own culture that is fine too.

    @CMGragain white people in the US are historically NOT accepting of other cultures. We bulldoze them into our ways, and are definitely not tolerant as a society. Native children were stolen from their families and put in schools stripping them of their culture, slaves were beaten for speaking their first language, European immigrants were harassed and ostracized for being different. America is a lot of good things but accepting is not one of them.
    I absolutely agree with your statement, the key word being "historically".  Currently, things have changed, thank God.  The immigrants usually struggle to fit in to our diverse culture, but their descendants do just fine.  I gather that the OP is at least second generation or she would not be asking the question.

    Unfortunately, there will always be racist, intolerant jerks who make the rest of us look bad.  Thankfully, they are in the minority.  This really has nothing to do with sharing cultural roots.  I wish I had more contact with my Scandinavian roots, but Grandpa left most of his culture behind when he immigrated. 

    PS.  One of the things I used to do when I lived in the Washington DC area was to represent the Daughters of the American Revolution and give a welcoming speech to the immigrants who were becoming new citizens.  I was proud to tell them that my own grandfather had been one of them.  (Grandpa married Grandma, whose ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower - also immigrants!)
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited November 15
    minealone said:
    I know that I’m not appropriating my own culture lol I’m not worried about that part.

    I was more worried about my guests having fun and not second guessing what they can or cannot do I guess. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing people dancing around in a turban and having fun with it. I think its all innocent fun in this particular context, but I wonder if some guests might give others that side eye and be uncomfortable with it. I want people to enjoy my culture, but I definitely don’t want my wedding to turn into a judgy political/social discussion, especially since his family is mostly conservative and our friends are very liberal. And yeah, I was a bit concerned with the possible social media backlash. I’m probably just overthinking it. 

    It didn’t occur to me that the props don’t have to match the background, thanks everyone! 

    When I am a guest at a wedding that is outside of my own cultural background, I appreciate it if there is some explanation given for things that might not be understood.  If there is anything you are concerned about, have someone explain the tradition.  This is no different than having the DJ announce the special dances.

    Politics have nothing to do with weddings and cultural traditions.  It is very rude to discuss politics or religion at the table.  Anyone who does this is being a jerk.  I am going on a long cruise soon, and If anyone mentions the name "Donald Trump" at the table, I plan to be very firm about shutting them down.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited November 15
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • minealone said:
    I know that I’m not appropriating my own culture lol I’m not worried about that part.

    I was more worried about my guests having fun and not second guessing what they can or cannot do I guess. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing people dancing around in a turban and having fun with it. I think its all innocent fun in this particular context, but I wonder if some guests might give others that side eye and be uncomfortable with it. I want people to enjoy my culture, but I definitely don’t want my wedding to turn into a judgy political/social discussion, especially since his family is mostly conservative and our friends are very liberal. And yeah, I was a bit concerned with the possible social media backlash. I’m probably just overthinking it. 

    It didn’t occur to me that the props don’t have to match the background, thanks everyone! 

    I side-eyed it because, for many, the turban is a religious symbol. 

    For Christianity, this would be like a group that is majority some other religion (Islamic, Sikh, whatever) taking a crucifix and wearing it in silly ways, throwing it around for selfies, dancing with it, etc. Kind of offensive, right? Right.

    If you want to avoid "judgy political/social discussions", I would avoid political, religious or sentimental cultural symbols. If you even question it, nix it. 
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    charlotte989875ahoyweddingSP29
  • CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Social circles and general society are two different things. America, as a society, is not tolerant.
    But it isn't "white" , either! ;)
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Social circles and general society are two different things. America, as a society, is not tolerant.
    But it isn't "white" , either! ;)
    Wtf are you talking about?
    charlotte989875ahoyweddingsouthernbelle0915STARMOON44
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
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    I think you're good to go on incorporating your culture into the decor; and like others said, just do a regular photobooth prop thing. 

    I do enjoy when other cultural elements are incorporated into a wedding. I went to a wedding where the bride was Irish and the groom was Persian. All the women received... I have no idea what it's called, I'm sorry... a scarf with jangles on it. During several dances the Persian women were waving the scarves to the music and I took my cues from them. Fun times! 
    ________________________________


    SP29
  • minealone said:
    I know that I’m not appropriating my own culture lol I’m not worried about that part.

    I was more worried about my guests having fun and not second guessing what they can or cannot do I guess. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing people dancing around in a turban and having fun with it. I think its all innocent fun in this particular context, but I wonder if some guests might give others that side eye and be uncomfortable with it. I want people to enjoy my culture, but I definitely don’t want my wedding to turn into a judgy political/social discussion, especially since his family is mostly conservative and our friends are very liberal. And yeah, I was a bit concerned with the possible social media backlash. I’m probably just overthinking it. 

    It didn’t occur to me that the props don’t have to match the background, thanks everyone! 

    Experiencing someone else's culture is a beautiful thing. I've been to weddings that incorporated bagpipes and kilts for a bride with Scottish heritage, or that had a Korean mini-ceremony as part of the reception, or that had a full double-ceremony: one Indian and one American, etc. I loved seeing the different attire, music, dances, etc. and participating in these celebrations. You have nothing to worry about if you are sharing your culture with your guests. 

    Where you should be concerned, even though you are of the specific culture, is turning it into a stereotype and encouraging your guests to treat your culture like a game. 

    Therefore, decor, music, ceremonies, etc. celebrating the aspects of your culture that you want to share with your guests are great. Having props in a photobooth that are stereotypes of your culture are not a good idea. 
    downtondivathisismynickname2SP29
  • MandyMost said:
    minealone said:
    I know that I’m not appropriating my own culture lol I’m not worried about that part.

    I was more worried about my guests having fun and not second guessing what they can or cannot do I guess. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing people dancing around in a turban and having fun with it. I think its all innocent fun in this particular context, but I wonder if some guests might give others that side eye and be uncomfortable with it. I want people to enjoy my culture, but I definitely don’t want my wedding to turn into a judgy political/social discussion, especially since his family is mostly conservative and our friends are very liberal. And yeah, I was a bit concerned with the possible social media backlash. I’m probably just overthinking it. 

    It didn’t occur to me that the props don’t have to match the background, thanks everyone! 

    Experiencing someone else's culture is a beautiful thing. I've been to weddings that incorporated bagpipes and kilts for a bride with Scottish heritage, or that had a Korean mini-ceremony as part of the reception, or that had a full double-ceremony: one Indian and one American, etc. I loved seeing the different attire, music, dances, etc. and participating in these celebrations. You have nothing to worry about if you are sharing your culture with your guests. 

    Where you should be concerned, even though you are of the specific culture, is turning it into a stereotype and encouraging your guests to treat your culture like a game. 

    Therefore, decor, music, ceremonies, etc. celebrating the aspects of your culture that you want to share with your guests are great. Having props in a photobooth that are stereotypes of your culture are not a good idea. 
    I agree with this completely. Sharing one's culture is a wonderful thing, and you certainly shouldn't be afraid to do that. But items that are sacred or otherwise special to a particular culture shouldn't be used as props or toys. I say have the background you want to have, but stick with the typical photo booth props. 
    image
    STARMOON44climbingwifeahoywedding
  • CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Do they love a mosque opening down the street? Do they love public schools closing for Diwali? Did they vote for a rabidly anti-immigrant President? Idk, maybe not your friend. But enough Americans did that Trump is our President so I still think we have a ways to go on welcoming immigrants. 
    ahoywedding
  • CMGragain said:
    CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Social circles and general society are two different things. America, as a society, is not tolerant.
    But it isn't "white" , either! ;)
    The white non-Hispanic population is over 60%. White including Hispanics is over 75%. White people control this country, idk what you are talking about. 
    ahoywedding
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited November 17
    CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Do they love a mosque opening down the street? Do they love public schools closing for Diwali? Did they vote for a rabidly anti-immigrant President? Idk, maybe not your friend. But enough Americans did that Trump is our President so I still think we have a ways to go on welcoming immigrants. 
    I cannot speak for anyone but myself.  It would be presumptive of me to do this.  I personally do not know anyone who is racist, anti-immigration, or religiously prejudiced.  Mr. Trump did not win a majority of American Votes, did he?  He would not be welcome in my home.  When he visited my town, I refused to attend, and so did every one I know.

    In my last community we had three Islamic centers, and I visited two of them with interest.  So did many other members of my church and community.  Many of my neighbors were Muslims, and we enjoyed each other's company, as well as immigrant people from all over the world. 

    Ten years ago, I moved across the country to a very different community of mostly Anglo and Hispanic people.   I do not tolerate racism in my life or in my home.  Someone who openly expresses racism or cultural prejudice is not welcome.

    So what are YOU doing to combat racism and prejudice in YOUR life?  It is easy to rant on the internet.  Any troll can do that.  How about backing it up with action?

    When a visitor in my own church asked me "How do you like having a black minister who is married to a white woman?", I made quite a scene, screaming "WHAT?  He's black?  Really?"  Conversation stopped! Everyone stared at this woman in shock.  My lovely minister was standing a few feet away, and he burst into laughter, as did his dear wife.  We embraced, and when I turned around, the woman was gone, hopefully never to return.  I hope she learned something.

    This thread has gone way off topic.  Some of you need to get off your high horses and realize that this is a wonderful accepting country, and then make sure that you are working, personally, in your own life, to make it so!  There will always be ignorant fools.  Make sure that you don't do anything to encourage them.  Last year, when I was traveling in France, several people asked hesitantly if I was British.  I replied, "No, I'm American!"  Every time I was greeted with enthusiasm by Europeans of many countries.  One couple wanted to take my husband and me home for dinner, and we had trouble excusing ourselves, as we had other plans.

    God bless America.  It isn't perfect and neither are we, but I hope Americans keep working for a better future for all people from all parts of the world.  If some of you want to rant about our current politics. then go ahead.   I won't be listening.  I get enough of that from CNN.  Instead, tell me about what YOU plan to do to make this a better country - and I hope that means voting in all of our elections.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MobKaz
  • STARMOON44STARMOON44
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited November 17
    CMGragain said:
    CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Do they love a mosque opening down the street? Do they love public schools closing for Diwali? Did they vote for a rabidly anti-immigrant President? Idk, maybe not your friend. But enough Americans did that Trump is our President so I still think we have a ways to go on welcoming immigrants. 
    I cannot speak for anyone but myself.  It would be presumptive of me to do this.  I personally do not know anyone who is racist, anti-immigration, or religiously prejudiced.  Mr. Trump did not win a majority of American Votes, did he?  He would not be welcome in my home.  When he visited my town, I refused to attend, and so did every one I know.

    In my last community we had three Islamic centers, and I visited two of them with interest.  So did many other members of my church and community.  Many of my neighbors were Muslims, and we enjoyed each other's company, as well as immigrant people from all over the world. 

    Ten years ago, I moved across the country to a very different community of mostly Anglo and Hispanic people.   I do not tolerate racism in my life or in my home.  Someone who openly expresses racism or cultural prejudice is not welcome.

    So what are YOU doing to combat racism and prejudice in YOUR life?  It is easy to rant on the internet.  Any troll can do that.  How about backing it up with action?

    When a visitor in my own church asked me "How do you like having a black minister who is married to a white woman?", I made quite a scene, screaming "WHAT?  He's black?  Really?"  Conversation stopped! Everyone stared at this woman in shock.  My lovely minister was standing a few feet away, and he burst into laughter, as did his dear wife.  We embraced, and when I turned around, the woman was gone, hopefully never to return.  I hope she learned something.

    This thread has gone way off topic.  Some of you need to get off your high horses and realize that this is a wonderful accepting country, and then make sure that you are working, personally, in your own life, to make it so!  There will always be ignorant fools.  Make sure that you don't do anything to encourage them.  Last year, when I was traveling in France, several people asked hesitantly if I was British.  I replied, "No, I'm American!"  Every time I was greeted with enthusiasm by Europeans of many countries.  One couple wanted to take my husband and I home for dinner, and we had trouble excusing ourselves, as we had other plans.

    God bless America.  It isn't perfect and neither are we, but I hope Americans keep working for a better future for all people from all parts of the world.  If some of you want to rant about our current politics. then go ahead.   I won't be listening.  I get enough of that from CNN.  Instead, tell me about what YOU plan to do to make this a better country - and I hope that means voting in all of our elections.
    What? You’re the one who claimed America, as a country, is good at this. You are wrong. You personally may be, your friends may be, but obviously the country is not. And now you’re saying you can only speak for yourself?!? If you only spoke for yourself in the first place this discussion wouldn’t have happened.

    none of us owe you any explanation of what we personally are doing to fight back, we are just telling you that it isn’t all la di dah perfect now. But you obviously are a smart woman and know that, you’re just furiously backpedaling instead of admitting your initial statement was wrong. 
    charlotte989875ahoyweddingclimbingwifemissJeanLouise
  • CMGragain said:
    CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Do they love a mosque opening down the street? Do they love public schools closing for Diwali? Did they vote for a rabidly anti-immigrant President? Idk, maybe not your friend. But enough Americans did that Trump is our President so I still think we have a ways to go on welcoming immigrants. 
    I cannot speak for anyone but myself.  It would be presumptive of me to do this.  I personally do not know anyone who is racist, anti-immigration, or religiously prejudiced.  Mr. Trump did not win a majority of American Votes, did he?  He would not be welcome in my home.  When he visited my town, I refused to attend, and so did every one I know.

    In my last community we had three Islamic centers, and I visited two of them with interest.  So did many other members of my church and community.  Many of my neighbors were Muslims, and we enjoyed each other's company, as well as immigrant people from all over the world. 

    Ten years ago, I moved across the country to a very different community of mostly Anglo and Hispanic people.   I do not tolerate racism in my life or in my home.  Someone who openly expresses racism or cultural prejudice is not welcome.

    So what are YOU doing to combat racism and prejudice in YOUR life?  It is easy to rant on the internet.  Any troll can do that.  How about backing it up with action?

    When a visitor in my own church asked me "How do you like having a black minister who is married to a white woman?", I made quite a scene, screaming "WHAT?  He's black?  Really?"  Conversation stopped! Everyone stared at this woman in shock.  My lovely minister was standing a few feet away, and he burst into laughter, as did his dear wife.  We embraced, and when I turned around, the woman was gone, hopefully never to return.  I hope she learned something.

    This thread has gone way off topic.  Some of you need to get off your high horses and realize that this is a wonderful accepting country, and then make sure that you are working, personally, in your own life, to make it so!  There will always be ignorant fools.  Make sure that you don't do anything to encourage them.  Last year, when I was traveling in France, several people asked hesitantly if I was British.  I replied, "No, I'm American!"  Every time I was greeted with enthusiasm by Europeans of many countries.  One couple wanted to take my husband and me home for dinner, and we had trouble excusing ourselves, as we had other plans.

    God bless America.  It isn't perfect and neither are we, but I hope Americans keep working for a better future for all people from all parts of the world.  If some of you want to rant about our current politics. then go ahead.   I won't be listening.  I get enough of that from CNN.  Instead, tell me about what YOU plan to do to make this a better country - and I hope that means voting in all of our elections.
    What do I, personally, do? Glad you asked. I work for an organization whose mission statement includes working to eliminate racism and I am a research fellow implementing racial justice initiatives for our community and white privilege trainings for our staff & partners. I’m also a college professor who teaches classes that center discussions on institutionalized racism and structural inequalities. I’m currently teaching a course on civil liberties that focuses on unequal treatment before the law.

    Don’t presume that we’re all just ranting on the internet. Not that I have to justify what I do, but before you imply we’re not doing anything to solve problems you might want to take a step back and realize that many of us are doing the work in our communities. So yes I have a lot to say when people make statements about how open and welcoming America is, and I have a whole lot of research and experience to back it up. 
    ahoyweddingflantasticmissJeanLouiseSP29
  • MandyMostMandyMost
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    CMGragain said:
    CMGragain said:
    Gee, maybe we run in different circles.  No one I know would have that attitude.  If they did, they would soon be frozen out of our social circles.  My friends LOVE multicultural events.  One of the reasons we love to travel is to experience other cultures.
    Do they love a mosque opening down the street? Do they love public schools closing for Diwali? Did they vote for a rabidly anti-immigrant President? Idk, maybe not your friend. But enough Americans did that Trump is our President so I still think we have a ways to go on welcoming immigrants. 
    I cannot speak for anyone but myself.  It would be presumptive of me to do this.  I personally do not know anyone who is racist, anti-immigration, or religiously prejudiced.  Mr. Trump did not win a majority of American Votes, did he?  He would not be welcome in my home.  When he visited my town, I refused to attend, and so did every one I know.

    In my last community we had three Islamic centers, and I visited two of them with interest.  So did many other members of my church and community.  Many of my neighbors were Muslims, and we enjoyed each other's company, as well as immigrant people from all over the world. 

    Ten years ago, I moved across the country to a very different community of mostly Anglo and Hispanic people.   I do not tolerate racism in my life or in my home.  Someone who openly expresses racism or cultural prejudice is not welcome.

    So what are YOU doing to combat racism and prejudice in YOUR life?  It is easy to rant on the internet.  Any troll can do that.  How about backing it up with action?

    When a visitor in my own church asked me "How do you like having a black minister who is married to a white woman?", I made quite a scene, screaming "WHAT?  He's black?  Really?"  Conversation stopped! Everyone stared at this woman in shock.  My lovely minister was standing a few feet away, and he burst into laughter, as did his dear wife.  We embraced, and when I turned around, the woman was gone, hopefully never to return.  I hope she learned something.

    This thread has gone way off topic.  Some of you need to get off your high horses and realize that this is a wonderful accepting country, and then make sure that you are working, personally, in your own life, to make it so!  There will always be ignorant fools.  Make sure that you don't do anything to encourage them.  Last year, when I was traveling in France, several people asked hesitantly if I was British.  I replied, "No, I'm American!"  Every time I was greeted with enthusiasm by Europeans of many countries.  One couple wanted to take my husband and me home for dinner, and we had trouble excusing ourselves, as we had other plans.

    God bless America.  It isn't perfect and neither are we, but I hope Americans keep working for a better future for all people from all parts of the world.  If some of you want to rant about our current politics. then go ahead.   I won't be listening.  I get enough of that from CNN.  Instead, tell me about what YOU plan to do to make this a better country - and I hope that means voting in all of our elections.
    I'll be sure to tell all the black people who are being shot by cops or lynched and watching the KKK march in the streets, muslims spit on in the streets, jews reading nazi propaganda spray painted on walls, and hispanics being told to go back to mexico that this is a wonderfully accepting country, and that racism and bigotry doesn't exist here.

    It's great that you are accepting, that doesn't mean that this is an accepting country as a whole. 
    ahoyweddingclimbingwife
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