Friday, April 29, 2011

Not the royal wedding

Because today is the wedding of the century, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate, I thought I would write something about wedding. Not the royal wedding, though. This is the story of my very own wedding.

My wedding was a multicultural wedding, not because the bride and the groom were of different culture, but because Chinese Indonesians in Indonesia are usually bewildered among cultures. But that what makes it interesting, doesn't it?

I started the long ceremony list by holding "Widodaren" at my home a couple of days before the wedding. From the name, you know that it's a Javanese tradition. Please don't ask me what it means; I don't know. What my family did was just having dinner together at my home. Why did I do it when I don't know the meaning? Because one of my aunts INSISTED that it should be held.

The wedding day itself was a confusion between Christian, Chinese, and Western weddings. The bride's dress and the groom's suit were definitely of Western culture, for instance.

On the other hand, Chinese cultures dominated little bits here and there: red umbrella for the groom, yellow rice thrown at the groom, tea ceremony to honor the elders, and of course the long-awaited big Chinese food dinner for everyone except the bride and the groom (we had no time to eat!).

The Christian cultures were mostly apparent at the church, although I didn't cover my face with veil (because I forgot to, haha, oh and I forgot my bouquet, too) and nobody seemed to realize.

The need to squeeze in a lot of cultures in one wedding day results in consequently a very long wedding. We started the first ceremony at 8 am, and finished the wedding reception at 10 pm. I had warned my bridesmaid, who was an American, that it was going to be different from weddings in the US, and at the end of the day she still couldn't believe how all of us managed that long day.

We also had some cultural "clashes":
1. We released pigeons after the church ceremony, which was described by the groom's mother as "usually done when someone is dead."
2. The bridal service provided a white bridesmaid's gown, which was described by the bridesmaid as "would not be done in the US. Nobody wears white except the bride!"


The Jamaican Rastafarian Groom

Oh, and the groom decided to throw in Jamaican culture, too. His Rastafarian hair managed to steal the attention from the supposedly-where-every-eye-should-look-at bride.

It might not be a royal wedding, but I find that my wedding was a time to ponder upon cultures. It left me rethinking our identity. Who are we in terms of ethnicity? Now I leave this question to you readers.

And here is my favorite picture from the wedding:


The Bride, the Groom, and the Becak