Popular culture might have ingrained within us the idea of a white wedding where the bride walks down the aisle and the exchanging of vows. While that is common practice in the western world, things are vastly different in the east, where weddings are a vibrant affair that comes from long-held cultural beliefs.
Take, for instance, the Balinese wedding tradition.
A Balinese marriage is a beautiful painting of of romance and mysticism with unique wedding processions based on interesting Balinese Hindu rituals that are steeped in Asian culture. There are two different traditions – the Ngerorod and the Mapadik.
This marriage is best described as a dramatic elopement, where the bride is kidnapped by the friends and family of her husband-to-be. As part of the tradition, she fakes distress and pretends to fight off her kidnappers. She is carried off to a place with the groom. Without any luck, the bride’s family returns from a search party, during which time, the groom and bride will be live as though they are married, making offerings to the gods.
Days later, an official celebration follows, which is merely a formality as the couple is already considered married in the eyes of the gods.
This type of marriage is another dramatic, yet more practical and traditional than the Ngerorod marriage. It is a lavish wedding ceremony. Prior to the marriage ceremony, there are a number of visits between the families, where gifts and food are exchanged. Professional musicians and an enormous banquet entertain the guests. Elaborate clothing is worn and post ceremony, the bride and groom feed each other delicious food from the vibrant Indonesian platter. An imitation of their domestic duties is performed whilst being watched and encouraged by their family as a symbolic act of their future life together. Other rituals and blessings are then bestowed upon the couple, and later followed by the reception.
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