It’s a nice day for an Indonesian wedding

17 Jan

After experiencing the adventurous side of Indonesia at Sidomukti we returned home to Salatiga ready for a night on the couch watching movies, eating chocolate and recovering from the sunburn and bruises from our very physical day. However this plan was very quickly changed when while sitting on the couch watching some trashy Nat Geo documentaries, our host dad came in and told us he was taking us to the wedding of a friend of his son in 2 hours.

First we were confronted by what are we supposed to wear to this wedding? With the clothes I had packed more suitable for the dance floor of a night club than a Muslim wedding and no time to go and attempt to find something which actually fit me in the local mall, I was soon told that jeans and a long sleeve shirt was more than suitable and that we had to leave now as the wedding was in Boyolalyi. Now we really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into as we got into our jeep and drove for a long time on the road to Solo making small P1160111talk and wondering how far away we were as the start time for the wedding drew near. Then we saw a worrying sight. POLRI (Indonesian National Police) were up ahead on the road and the traffic was macet, stuck, until our host dad took the jeep up onto the side of the road and the friendly POLRI officer directed us into a parking spot. This alone blew my mind, the fact that the National Police had basically closed the road and were directing traffic for a wedding?

The second we walked through the door into the reception hall we saw the most amazing sight. The hall was full with room for about 800 people and at the front of the hall on the stage was a 2 metre high cake and massive couches for the bride and groom and their parents. Still unsure what would happen at P1160117this wedding and how the bride or groom really related to us, the room began to fill with Indonesian people wearing beautiful batik and traditional costumes and some of the most amazing Muslim dress I have ever seen.

Then the lights dimmed and the music started with the bride appearing surrounded by traditional dancers. The groom rode up and met her on a bicycle before they walked hand in hand to the stage together. What followed can only be described as a spectacle. There was dancers, a live band, the incredible cake, prayers in Arabic, speeches by people who we perceived to be important, Enya music, bubbles, a live band, a movie about how the couple met, I Will Survive performed in Indonesian and the release of doves. We enjoyed a 5 course meal served to us with absolute efficiency. The cake was then cut which was highlighted by the sword used to cut it and the fireworks which covered the stage at the same time and then it was over but not before the bride and groom performed a beautiful duet together. We heard basically every Western love song ever written and a great number of Indonesian ones.

As we walked out we shook hands with probably about 50 people all of whom were probably wondering who this tall white girl trying to speak Indonesian was (due to the other person living with me having Malaysian ancestry and blending in quite well as opposed to me the only Westerner) Then it was time to give the bride and groom my best wishes when I was warmly welcomed by the bride (in English) and sincerely thanked for coming to their wedding. That was good enough for me. I went outside saw the fireworks display they had arranged and had POLRI direct us back onto the busy road.

It was without a doubt the most amazing wedding I have been to and words can’t really do it any justice. There was a lot of excited conversation about the event we had just seen on the long drive back to Salatiga before we crashed after a ridiculously long day.


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