One of the perks of being an exchange student is that you get invited to a lot of events, by people you don't even know, that want you there because you're foreign.
That's how I ended up attending 2 Malay weddings, an Indian engagement and accidentally crashing a Chinese wedding in the span of a little over 2 weeks.
The Indian engagement was a really spur of the moment thing. I got a call saying to pack my punjabi suit because I was going to be participating in some sort of ceremony the next day, and off I was. After picking up 3 other exchange students, we were off. After sitting in the house getting to know the family of the soon to be fiances, we went to an empty homestay... No one told us what we were doing there, but hey. Such is life for an exchange student here. When people began showing up, we got ready and then headed off to the temple. Of course, easier said than done considering there were 3 saris to tie, 4 heads of hair to fix and 4 faces that needed to be made up in the space of an hour. A boy took some pictures of us and then we accidentally got kicked out of the temple. Oops.
We sprinkled water on the heads of people as they arrived and handed them little sweets as well. After the majority of people had arrived, we carried baskets of stuff for the lady, presents from her husband. There was everything from fruit to bangles. After the ceremony (a lot of chanting in Tamil and people being blessed by elders), we distributed more sweets to the guests. Dinner was served and then we waited around 2 hours to go back. Sadly, I don't have any pictures from this event but I assure you it was beautiful. It was a very Indian menagerie of women in sparkling sarees and men in colorful silk shirts with flowers and bangles everywhere in between.
The next wedding I attended was a Malay wedding. It was a formal sit down dinner in a hotel ballroom. I wore the traditional baju kebaya that I had purchased earlier that day. The bride was very beautiful and seemed to radiate happiness. After a delicious dinner, we watched a video and photo montage of the couple's history. The whole room was full of people saying "Aw," and wiping their eyes; it was visible how true their love is. We were able to watch the part of the marriage ceremony done at the mosque via video which was really unique to say. Arabic sounds so exotic when spoken, I love it. Indian and Malay dances were performed by a troupe. The troupe closed their act with "Oppa Gangam Style." That song is so overplayed and I think everyone is just tired of it. Op op op....
After we took pictures with the happily married couple, we waited in the foyer of the banquet halls. There was a Chinese wedding happening in the adjoining ballroom, so we took pictures with that couple too.
Weddings in Malaysia are not the white dress, bubbles and bridesmaid affairs of the Western world, but are equally beautiful. Looking forward to attending even more in the rest of my time here!
|the happy couple|
|Aren't we cute :*|
|Us with the bride and groom|
|The Chinese wedding we kinda crashed..|
, by Hannah