A rock-and-roll wedding…

I just got engaged. Sort of. I mean sort of because things don’t work the same here. We are however planning a wedding for this coming summer in Australia. There is no ring, there was no down-on-the-knee proposal… but I’m over the moon regardless.

This is a different world and somehow this cross-culture relationship is going to navigate through the mine-field that is weddings/engagements and family affairs.

There is no such thing as an engagement here… you date, for maybe 2 months (if your lucky, somepeople skip right to a wedding), hold hands… nothing more, then your parents decide that you will get married, and within 3 months of meeting you are already married.

The weddings happen fast and the invitations go out the day before and the ceremony involves the boy offering the girl money that is framed and presented to her and her family. Everyone signs the papers and then you go to a party where you sitting on a plastic chair in front of the whole village while you eat satay, rice and chillies with your fingers and listen to awful indonesian music dangdut, where ‘sexy dancers’ girls who are about 19 wearing mini skirts (with full black tights underneath) and low cut shirts (with a full length black t-shirt underneath) sing for the boys who offer her money (50c – $2) to shake her hips… they think this is sexy dancing, they get very excited about it – I can’t even manage how they would cope in a strip club at a traditional bucks night.

The children eat plastic deep-fried sausages on sticks and buy cheap plastic toys from the carnival sellers out the front of your house which is now surrounded by the whole village lining up for their free food. it goes on for hours where hundreds of guests file in, eat from the buffet then leave a $1 donation in the box for the bride and groom, then go back home with a party bag that usually consists of a packet of chocolate buscuits, a couple of candies or a couple of packets of mee goreng (packet noodles).

Forget about a honeymoon. After the wedding most couples live together with a parent while they try to get a place of their own, or build a small house in their parents front yard. Then its all about making babies, so that the girl has something to do while the boy is out finding a way to make some money.

Pretty exciting isn’t it? Hence why we will do it in Australia… god forbid that was my wedding, I’ve been to a lot of them and they are joyful and celebratory, but this is one cultural class that I don’t think I could handle as my own.

When talking about the big day H tells me that we should have a rock-and-roll wedding. I should wear denim short shorts and a low cut tank top and no shoes, while he is going to get married in cut off jeans whilst drinking jim beam. When the celebrant asks him if he will take me as his wife he will say ‘hell to the f***n’ yeah mate…’ Even this is a better option to the above… but still not every little girls dream of the perfect wedding…

He’s joking anyway (I hope)… but at least he has a sense of humour, it’s the only way we will survive it all!

Barefoot inked.

5 Responses to “A rock-and-roll wedding…”
  1. Deanna says:

    Hell to the fuckin YEAH is right!! xox

  2. Alf mabrouk – a thousand congrats. The wedding is too delicate a time to struggle with major culture clash if you have any expectations whatsoever for your wedding. Have a fantastic summer.

  3. I concur! That is so exciting, congratulations is in order!

    I’m in a relationship with a man from Lombok, Indonesia…if/when we decide to get married I will certainly insist on doing it in Canada…I’m not digging the Indonesian wedding style either!!

    Good Luck with everything!!

  4. Miss Smithy says:

    Nice story 🙂

    blog walking, plis come visit mine

  5. maharani says:

    Hi, congratulation on your engagement. Yes Indonesian men do not care too much about engagement ring, romantic down-on-knee proposal etc. And the dangdut/reception party, they care less about that either…

    What they think about when they intent to marry a girl is how they will afford his new family.

    Indonesian men are one of the most responsible men on the planet. They will do everything, I mean EVERYTHING (sometimes even in negative way) to support their family and make them happy, and often, by family it means their parents, their siblings, their wife’s parents, their wife’s siblings, their nephew and nieces, their wife’s nephew and nieces, you name it. Especially in Indonesia there is no such thing as a social security so they have to work very hard to afford the whole member of the family. They will give all their salary to their wife.. and for them even if their wife is working, her salary is her money. And he doesn’t have the right of his wife’s money even a single cent.

    Indonesian men are always expected to be the leader for their family, not only financially but also socially. Not only he is expected to be a bread winner, but he will also expected to be the most knowledgeable in religion, children’s education etc. He is expected to lead their family on earth and akhirat (after life).

    Modern Indonesian men who still hold traditional value is the best man you can get, not only they will extremely responsible for your family but he will also help their women in the kitchen, change the baby diaper while still teach their boy a martial art and how to fix the car.

    You don’t see and may never see Indonesian men complaining. They take the burden that given to them with smile and sincerity. They take it all as a men’s fate. They just expect one thing in return, a smile on their wife’s face and when they open the door after work. So you should have a shorter work hour, that’s all:)

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