Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Little Early For The Wedding

They say no wedding is perfect.

So too was my second son's wedding in Kuala Terengganu.

What was perfect was his lafaz nikah - pronounced only once to the complete satisfaction of the witnesses at the mosque in Manir.

And that is what really matters in the solemnization of the betrothal of a normal Muslim couple here in Malaysia.

The rest are merely activities held in celebration of the wedding of which some can be formal, scripted and choreographed affairs or quite informal, depending on the families concerned.

Ours tended toward the latter, easy-going and unassuming, nevertheless it wasn't without a goof-up or two.

Well... only one, I think.

The gaffe was that we had brought the gift-laden trays, all nine of them, to the mosque to be exchanged with those from the bride's, totally ignorant of the fact that in Terengganu, exchange of gifts are only done at the bersanding ceremony during the reception, usually the following day.

Whereas in Selangor and Melaka at least, gifts from both sides are laid out and pleasantries (pantuns in Melaka) are exchanged even before the kadi has a chance to give his khutbah and conduct the betrothal.

No wonder the bride's family looked kind of shell-shocked when we arrived at the mosque.

It was my besan (bride's mum), a single mother,  who saved the situation by suggesting a symbolic hand-over of the trays from me to her... well done Kak Fatimah!

 Isn't she cute? Yes, I'm younger than her but she looks not a day over forty, doesn't she?

Anyway, everyone took it in good spirits... after all it was the happiest day for Amal and Akmal who are now united as husband and wife, as well as marking the beginning of ties between two families from opposite sides of the Peninsular Malaysia.

The following day at the reception, we again carried in the trays (which had presumably spent the night in the bridal suite) and laid them out in front of the wedding dais alongside the ones from the bride's family.

I must say everyone enjoyed the Terengganu hospitality and merriment, not forgetting the delicious freshly-cooked wedding fare  of gulai kawah, gulai nangka etc, etc...

What's also unforgettable was the friendly Chinese cameraman who spoke perfect Terengganuese who took charge of the berarak and bersanding ceremonies, arranging the gift-bearers, telling us when to start walking, who to merenjis and in what order...

And hopefully our next Terengganu wedding, just a month away this time for number one son, will be much more correct... hehehe