Traditional Asian dressing can both delight and confuse non-Asians. Heavily influenced by conservative yet imaginative culture, clothing which originates from most parts of East and Southeast Asia are both colourful and beautiful.
One such example is the Javanese and Sudanese traditional wedding costumes.
The Sundanese, an ethnic native to the western part of the Indonesian island of Java, are predominantly Muslim with a language of their own – Sundanese. This group is referred to as Urang Sunda, and Suku Sunda or Orang Sunda in their local dialect. The Sundanese people are bound together by their culture, which influences their way of dressing.
The traditional wedding clothing for Sundanese women consists of a kebaya and a sarong (a skirt-like garment). The kebaya is a long-sleeved, fitted lace blouse that is worn over another layer of clothing. The sarong is a length of cloth that is wrapped around the waist and hangs down to the ankles. Men also wear a sarong, but instead of a kebaya, they wear a long-sleeved batik shirt or a fitted, embroidered jacket. Of late, these traditional dresses are being influenced by Western and Islamic styles.
Fragrant flowers such as jasmines are also an important part of the costumes. They adorn the couple, including garlands, and hair adornments. Also, both men and women wear jewels in their hair as part of the costumes.
The Javanese, an ethnic group that is centralized in Java, Yogyakarta, and the East Java provinces of Indonesia are known for their cultural activities such as Gamelan music, traditional dances, and ‘Wayang kulit’ shadow play performances.
The traditional clothing of Javanese is very similar to that of Indonesian men and women, which is the sarong (a skirt like garment). Generally, the ceremonial clothing varies a little. The men wear sarongs, a high-collared shirt, a jacket, and a blangkon, which is a head cloth wrapped to resemble a skullcap. Women, on the other hand, wear a sarong, kebaya (long-sleeved blouse), and selendang (sash over the shoulder). The woman’s hair is put back in a flat bun which is called a Sanggul. Embroidered cloth, silver jewellery, and flowers are also important parts of both the man’s and woman’s costume.
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