Traditions you didn’t know in Malay weddings

Tradition and culture is something that matters a lot. It is where your roots are built upon and it is what identifies you as a person. Most countries today seem to be dropping out from their traditional ways of doing things, simply to embrace the modern and westernized ways. However even now one thing that never changes with regards to tradition is the way weddings are hosted. Weddings all around the world have some sort of specific tradition that is carried out based on whatever that has been passed down through generations. And Malaysia too is a country that is very well known for it. So here are some interesting facts on Malaysian weddings.

The first step ‘Merisik’

Since Malaysia is a country that is more or less populated with Muslims that follow the Islamic traditions and rules, dating is considered a taboo. Of course this is purely based on the religious restrictions, and so when it comes to forming such matrimonial relations, the usual practice that is followed is known as Merisik. Here the groom’s family and relatives meet up with the bride’s family, to know more about her in general. So it is more or less like an in depth investigation of some sort! If things go well here, then the they move to ‘Meminang’.

The proposal stage – ‘Meminang’

This is basically where once the families have decided on things after discussions, a couple relatives and family members of the groom’s, head to the bride’s home bearing loads of gifts and goodies. Generally, the gifts include things like fruits, cake and even a ring. In addition to that a dowry is also gifted to the bride by the groom. This in Islamic practice is known as ‘Mahar’. Usually it is in values of tens, so if the ‘Mahar’ is $5000 then $50 would be given. Another cute thing to note is that a sweet poem is also written to the lady as a form of proposing. So you don’t really have to get down on your knees, instead you could be the next Shakespeare and declare your love in the old school ‘poetic-style’!

The celebration – ‘Walimah’

According to Islamic culture this is a ceremony that is a celebration of making the couple’s marriage official. Here family, friends and even neighbors are invited to join in on the celebration. Of course there is a lot of food and fun involved too. Usually the crowd varies from around 300 to 1500 people depending on the family and Malay wedding package budget of the wedding couple. Back in the days it was a very simple celebration but now there is karaoke, photo booths, outfit changing and such all involved.

So the next time you get invited to one, do be on the lookout for such traditions and customs to be a part of it yourself!



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