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Malay Wedding
Malay Wedding
Malay wedding is fascinating and steeped in age-old tradition.

A Malay wedding begins with the akad nikah ceremony. The groom signs the marriage contract and agrees to provide the bride with a mas kahwin. After that, their hands are dyed with henna during the berinai besar ceremony. The bride's hair is also trimmed or her eyebrows shaped by a beautician known as the mak andam.

The next day, the groom is accompanied by friends, relatives, musicians and bunga manggar (palm blossom) carriers to the bride's house where they are usually greeted with the sprinkling of yellow rice and scented water.
Sometimes, the pencak silat or the traditional Malay sword dance is performed. To add gaiety to the joyful affair, the groom and his party are required to overcome humorous obstacles before being allowed to go in.
Each guest will receive a bunga telur, which means 'flower' and 'egg' - a symbol of a fertile union. After the bersanding ceremony, the wedded couple and their guests will attend a celebratory feast called the makan beradab. This involves the bride and groom feeding each other sweetened rice.
The nuptial night is spent at the bride's house. The following day, similar festivities, normally on a smaller scale, are held at the bridegroom's house. Then, for the next one month or so, the couple will be invited for meals at one house after another in order to usher them into the married community. However, the modern trend is to immediately go on honeymoon, postponing the socializing rites for later.


The Malay Wedding
Delightful Traditional Malay Wedding in Tawau
Malay traditional wedding institution holds a very sacred position in Malay society in Malaysia.
Upon finding a suitable candidate, the boy's parents will dispatch a fact-finding mission comprising close family friends to meet the girl herself and to learn more about her. Once both parties are agreeable, an engagement ring is placed on the girl’s finger. The wedding date is fixed between six months to two years after the engagement. At this stage, the two families discuss the amount of gift money to be paid by the bridegroom, and also the gift items to be brought along on the wedding day.


The activities that take place during a Malay wedding come from the diverse cultural traditions --indigenous, Hindu and Islamic--that have together served to shape traditional Malay culture. The numerous activities constitute a Malay wedding may be conveniently be divided into three groups representing three stages.
For the Malays, there are certain preliminaries or events which must happen before the wedding bells chime... or rather, before the melodious beat of the kompang and before the wedded couple can sit regally on the pelamin (the specially made Malay wedding dais):-
Activities which precede the actual wedding ceremony, consist of :


A) THE MERISIK ("SPYING")  First is investigation


B) THE PERTUNANGAN ("BETROTHAL" OR "ENGAGEMENT") Followed by the engagement or approach to formalise the arrangement (meminang)


C) THE AKAD NIKAH ("MARRIAGE CONTRACT")


D) HANTARAN or the sending of gifts and part of the amount of money (wang belanja) for expenses (wang belanja) which the boy’s family give to the girl’s side that will be incurred by the girl’s family.


E) THE PERSANDINGAN ("WEDDING CEREMONY") finally


The wang belanja is usually an amount of several thousand ringgit. It is different from the dowry (mas kahwin) which is also paid by the man to his future wife. The amount of the mas kahwin is usually fixed by the Islamic Religious Council in each state, but a potential bridegroom may give any amount above the official figure.


If the kampung (village) is not large, then the whole village folks are invited to the wedding. A delightful traditional Malay wedding involves nearly everyone in the kampung and is elaborate. A traditional Malay wedding is full of fun and joy. ... it should be so.
One of the most important concepts in Malay wedding is "the more the merrier". Every relative, acquaintance, colleague or business partner could be invited to a wedding.

The families are truly honored by your attendance at a wedding, especially if you are not a Muslim, your present show the present modern Malaysian dynamic spirit of 'Unity in Diversity'


1/5 Merisik
"SPYING/INVESTIGATING"

When it is time for a young man to get married his family will look around to identify a number of potential candidates. Having decided upon one particular young lady, then, the merisik of investigation process takes place.

For this ceremony one or more representatives (wakil) of the young man’s family will pay a friendly visit to the family of the young woman whom they have in mind as his potential bride. The visit is purely for the purpose of further investigation.

Its allows the visitors to see the young lady. A hint will be given to her parents regarding the purpose of the visit, and their reaction will be assessed. The girl’s parents may also give the visitors some idea as to whether or not their daughter will be interested in the match.

The merisik does not constitute a formal proposal. Following the visit both sides can begin to think more seriously about the possibility or otherwise of the union. It is possible that no progress may take place, and the young man’s parents or representatives will then look for another possible candidate.


2/5 Meminang
"BETROTHAL" OR "ENGAGEMENT"


Betrothal is the pre-wedding meeting between the bride's and the groom's parents will determine the dowry that is to be given to the bride as well as the date of the solemnization. This may be as early as a year before the wedding itself so that arrangements could be made in advance.

Once agreement for the marriage has been reached between the families of the potential bride and the potential bridegroom, preparations for engagement (Meminang) take place. Representatives from the young man’s side once again visit the house of the young woman, following the confirmation of a date and time for such a visit. On the side of the potential bride, a consensus is obtained regarding the following:
(a) The date and time for the Meminang ceremony.

(b) The amount of money to be paid by the young man for expenses ( Wang belanja).

(c) Details regarding the gift (Hantaran) items.

(d) The date and time for the actual wedding ceremony and feast.

Details regarding the penalty should one of the parties break the agreement for the marriage.
When the young man’s representatives arrive at the young woman’s house, these matters are discussed and settled. Agreement is also reached on certain details regarding the engagement ceremony, including:

(a) The number of persons who will constitute the bride-groom’s party.

(b) The number of trays (Dulang) of gifts that will be brought in addition to the traditional betel-leaf containers (Tepak sirih). For the meminang ceremony the young man and the young woman will be represented not by their parents but by other carefully selected persons.

On this day the date for the wedding ceremony (akad nikah) and the various other conditions and requirements will be also confirmed by both parties. Once all such matters have been resolved, the bridegroom’s representatives will hand over all the gifts (hantaran) items with the exception of the engagement ring.

The ring will be placed on the finger of the potential bride by an elder sister or aunt of the potential bridegroom. The potential bride will all this while be in her chamber.


3/5 Akad Nikah
"MARRIAGE CONTRACT"


The second group of activities consists of the actual marriage ceremony (akad nikah) and berinai.

The Akad Nikah is the actual religious solemnisation of the marriage. While all the other ceremonies performed in a Malay wedding before the Akad Nikah and after it may be considered as derived from the traditional culture of the Malays, and may even be omitted.

The Akad Nikah is an Islamic ceremony without which no marriage is valid. Consent of both the bride and the bridegroom must be obtained, and the religious official (usually a kadhi) conducting the marriage must make sure the marriage is entered into willingly by both the parties. At times the marriage solemnization is in fact done by the girl’s father in the presence of religious officials. In a brief sermon given by the officials, the bridegroom and the bride will receive a briefing on their rights and responsibilities as a married couple, particularly from the Islamic perspective. There must be two official witnesses at the Akad Nikah. A marriage certificate will be issued by the kadhi or State Religious Council representatives following the ceremony, and this is to be signed by the bridegroom, the bride as well as the witnesses.


4/5 HANTARAN
"sending of gifts"

HANTARAN or the sending of gifts and part of the amount of money (wang belanja) for expenses (wang belanja) which the boy’s family give to the girl’s side that will be incurred by the girl’s family.


5/5 THE BERSANDINGAN
"WEDDING CEREMONY"

The Bersanding or Hari Langsung
Often the wedding is held on one convenient weekend so as to accommodate relatives who live far away and to reduce costs.
The hari langsung, literally “the day of completion” , which also involves the bersanding or ceremonial seating on the dias, is considered the high point of a Malay wedding.
In the morning before the bersanding ceremony the bride will change into new clothes, and various fashions may be tried out in selecting the dress to be worn for the bersanding. Popular bersanding fashions include those of from the Minangkabau tradition, Kelantanese styles as well as styles derived from the West.

The bridegroom is not allowed to enter the bride’s house before the bride sends him a prepared betel leaf known as sirih latlat or sirih genggam. This is a sign that the bride now awaits the arrival of the bridegroom. The bridegroom walks slowly towards the house of the bride, his party is led by womenfolk. This is the ceremony of berarak, or walking in procession. Behind them come the group of musicians beating various types of drums, especially the hand-held kompang, as well as bearers of decorative flowers (bunga manggar).


The arriving party take their seats in a special area of the house for the martial arts ( pencak silat) performance which is held as a sign of welcome and paying respects to the bridegroom as the king for the day. Then both the bride and the bridegroom are invited for the bersanding ceremony. This is the sitting in state ceremony and theoretically the first time that a bride and her groom meet. Seated on their chairs on the platform (pelamin) the couple are blessed with scented water, henna, sandalwood paste and rice flour paste. The bersanding publicly ratifies the union.

Following the bersanding the newly-married couple will come down to the halaman rumah for lunch or dinner (kenduri), to which guests will be invited. Further activities including light entertainment or joget dance sessions may take place in the evening to conclude the Malay wedding
Sometimes this is followed by the tukar pakaian (costume changes) and the bride and, less often, the groom will don different clothes for photography. The pelamin (raised dais) will be beautifully decorated for the purpose.



A) THE MERISIK ("SPYING") First is investigation. Representatives (wakil) of the young man’s family will pay a friendly visit to the family of the young woman whom they have in mind as his potential bride.




B) THE PERTUNANGAN ("BETROTHAL" OR "ENGAGEMENT") Followed by the engagement or approach to formalize the arrangement (meminang) . The pre-wedding meeting between the bride's and the groom's parents will determine the dowry that is to be given to the bride as well as the date of the solemnization.




C) THE AKAD NIKAH ("MARRIAGE CONTRACT") The Akad Nikah is an Islamic ceremony without which no marriage is valid.




D) HANTARAN or the sending of gifts and part of the amount of money (wang belanja) for expenses (wang belanja) which the boy’s family give to the girl’s side that will be incurred by the girl’s family.




E) THE PERSANDINGAN ("WEDDING CEREMONY") finally
 


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