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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Javanese Culture

Indonesia has many diverse cultures (an estimated number of 300 cultures and languages, among 200 million Indonesians, living on 13.677 different islands). This enormous variety in cultures has a great impact on marriage ceremonies. Every wedding in Indonesia has a different ceremony, each of them influenced by the cultures of the families involved. Every ceremony is a step in the creation of a new bound between two families.
The parents of the man (would-be-bridegroom) send an envoy to the parents of the woman (would-be-bride), proposing that their son is willing to marry their daughter. Nowadays, for practical reasons, the parents of both sides can talk directly. The parents of the couple have to approve the marriage.
Usually, the parents of the would-be-bride have a greater say, as they are the ones who will organise the ceremonies (a big wedding will require a Paés Agung (kings make-up), a small one will require a Paés Kesatrian (knight's make-up)). They are responsible for the wedding ceremonies that will be followed, such as Siraman (bathing ceremony), Midodareni (ceremony on the eve before the wedding), Peningsetan (traditional engagement ceremony), Ijab (religious marriage consecration) and other Javanese ceremonies following the wedding celebration. They will also organise the wedding reception to give family and friends the opportunity to send their blessings to the newly wed couple.

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