Saturday, November 28, 2009

1 MALAYSIA - we're getting married!

Malaysia's multi-ethnicity and multiculturism astounds even her own people. Yes, we're so colourful and so diverse , a melting pot that is heaven-sent.

I caught the different weddings of our people at the Central Market. It was themed Perkhawinan Seni Satu Malaysia (Weddings - One Malaysia). As a Malaysian, I'm proud of the diversity that is our life. Malaysians have always embraced and loved our plurality, which enriches our lives and understanding of each other whilst maintaining our own traditions to keep them alive and unique.

It was a big open air invitation to All weddings, calling on all to celebrate! Many locals and tourists were enthralled, some curious as the traditions are still alive and in our midst. Here is a sneak peep of the colours of Malaysia. Hey ! we're getting married!!

'They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies' (Guru Amar Das Pauri, Pg.788)

A Sikh wedding can take place in a home or a gurdwara ('guru's door) as long as the Sri Guru Granth Sahib has been respectfully installed. Anand Karaj is the prescribed form of Sikh wedding and it means 'Blissful Union', whereby two individuals are joined in equal partnership. A Sikh wedding is usually arranged but the ultimate choice is between the boy and the girl.

Prior to a Chinese wedding, is the bethrothal which is always chosen on an auspicious day. Before the wedding ceremony, double wedding cakes and invitations are sent out. On the wedding day, the families perform the 'hair dressing' and 'capping' rituals. The groom goes to the bride's home and he is blocked by her friends at the door. The bridesmaids play a door game with the groom and attendants. Later they leave for the groom's home for the tea ceremony. It ends with an elaborate wedding feast.

The Tok Batin (chieftain) officiates an Orang Asli wedding. The highlight of an Orang Asli's life is to be wedded. When a wedding takes place, it is a village affair . People collect and prepare food for the grandest banquet ever in anticipation of the auspicious occasion. Tuak, wine made from sugar cane/banana juice is drunk during the wedding ceremony among the young and old. The chieftain takes puffs of a cigarette and passes it to the bride who in turn does the same. It is then passed to the chieftain. The marriage is sealed when the wali (Semelai version of priest) says 'saaaah!' to confirm the legitimacy .

Weddings are important religious ceremonies in Hindu religion. Different rituals have different meanings. A priest conducts the ceremony in Sanskrit . The thaali wearing is the highlight of the ceremony for it signifies the couple are now in union.

A Kadazan (from Sabah) wedding day starts early in the groom's house. When the groom and his congregation of friends and relatives approach the bride's house, the joyous Sumazau beats will sound on the ancient gongs. Everyone is served rice and drinks before the bride is taken to his parents' house.Before the couple can enter the groom's house, they must put their feet on a round stone at the bottom of the staircase. While standing siung, conical hats are held above their heads, symbolic of their union They can then enter the house. Rice is served to the couple. Before nightfall, the couple spend their first wedding night in the bride's house. Weddings usually last for 2 days.

There are two parts to a Malay traditional wedding. One is the akad nikah (contract) which is legal and religious before a religious officer and prayers are offered. Mas khawin is also given. At the bersanding (enthronement), the groom's procession of relatives, friends and bunga manggar ( palm blossom) bearing entourage will meet the bride. During the main bersanding ceremony, the couple sit on a dais .Family, relatives and friends sprinkle yellow rice and scented water to bless them. Guests receive the bunga telur (decorated eggs) to symbolize fertility. On that day, the couple has a royal treatment as it is their special day.

Central Market/Pasar Seni
Jalan Hang Kasturi
50050 Kuala Lumpur


  1. Wow!!
    BEAUTIFUL wedding couples
    so different as in our country :-)
    Its all so colorful
    by us its almost always white dresses !!

    Have a nice weekend !!
    Anya :)

  2. Beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing!
    I found your blog via SusuPetal - you left a comment there :)
    You got a new reader today!
    Have a nice day :)

  3. Lovely couples with beautiful clothes! Have a wonderful weekend, my dear :)

  4. Hi
    Anya, oh yes,we're colourful indeed! White is used for wedding gowns but people do opt for other colours in gowns too.

    BLOGitse , thanks so much for visiting. You 're most welcome:)Do drop in again.

    ROSIDAH, brides always look radiant.I bet you looked smashing on your wedding day. Guess it's time to look at some old photos and reminisce.

  5. I am echoing Anyas comment, and she is right! A lot of cultures mostly wear white and ivory. But these colors are so striking and beautiful! What a refreshing custom to see !

  6. Weddings are such happy occassions. Every pair is like 'seperti pinang dibelah dua'.

  7. Suddenly this song pop out of my mind "I'm Getting Married in the Morning" from the show "My Fair Lady". Great post & nice pictures. Thanks

  8. Now I know why I am often confused by all things's because your culture is so diverse. I had no idea. The photos are simply stunning. Thank you Sunshine Girl!

  9. So very interesting. So many styles and colorful outfits. Great entry

  10. Hi
    Rosey Pollen, thanks! we're colourful Malaysians:))

    Autumn Belle, don't the wedding couples look so beautiful!

    CheaHS@n, i bet you know many more songs about weddings and happy occasions. I know you as 'the song man':) Keep it up!

    Auntie, aka Coco's mum, at weddings the different cultures come alive. so too during festivals like hari raya, chinese new year, deepavali and many more. Am glad you enjoyed the post.

  11. Oh! I thought you are getting married. hahaha...Nice wedding pictures though.

  12. Very interesting to capture all the different types of wedding. Love their colourful costumes. Have a nice Sunday.

  13. Hi
    Lucy, these are traditional costumes and they are certainly colourful.

    Zue Murphy, do you know I got married the traditional Hindu way? The sari I wore is almost the same colour as the one in the picture!! But my hubby wasn't dressed to the hilt.

    alicesg, thanks! beautiful costumes for beautiful couples:)

  14. What a lovely post! All those couples! I wish them all a lifelong of happiness.

  15. Just lovely. Coming from a multi-ethnic country and family myself, I love to see that people celebrate their similarities (not differences).
    Beatiful brides and grooms.

  16. Hi
    Laura in Paris, thanks!

    Anne Lyken-Garner,well said. thanks!

  17. What an interesting blog!
    I love to learn about other cultures and customs; the photos and descriptions are great.
    Thank you for visiting my blog. i too like to delve back into Central European customs and describe a little of the life as it is lived there.

    Hope to see you again.

  18. I absolutely loved this post :) Thankyou so much for including us in the culture and tradition and sheer exuberant joy of the day!
    post something about your own wedding someday - i would love to see you in your wedding sari :)

  19. LOL! Trust the Chinese couple to look so nerdy! Right out of the 1800s! What a fright, ha ha ha! This is a fun post, Keats, and I'm giving you ten stars for showcasing our culture and traditions!

  20. Hi
    Friko, thank you for visiting too. am glad you enjoyed the post. blogging helps to bridge people and cultures which is great:)

    Shaista, thanks! my wedding was a family affair and i was ignorant of what was going on! Not any more now that I understand it much better:)

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, thank you, Ee Lynn. We love our cultures and we must share with the world that which makes us unique.

  21. This is really great work, Keats! very interesting and I learned a lot as well.


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