|Once again Trisna I travelled by local by bus to payakumbah on Thursday as the travel bus that her had booked ticket for 50rp,would pick us up at around 7am on Friday morning. They were attending the wedding on behalf of their son as it was his wife’s brother’s wedding.
Like the travel car the bus picked everyone up from their home and would drop them at their destination. We were the last on and then the bus was totally full. It took about 5-5.5hrs with a couple of short refreshment/toilet breaks along the way. We were all enthusiastically welcomed including myself. As with all weddings the immediate family comes to assist and stay with the family and everyone just sleeps on the floor.
It was a good weekend, with the wedding on the Saturday. The Bride is Chinese and had studied in Jakarta. Her father is still in Jakarta and her mother in Hong Kong, neither was in attendance. If you are not Muslim you are expected to convert for the Marriage to be recognized, and they were not approving daughter’s conversion to Muslim from Christian. Both the Bride and Groom work at the Yamaha School of Music, they teach piano and guitar.
The family invited me to attend the wedding celebrations in full. This meant going to collect the groom who stayed somewhere else overnight as the bride was being married out of his home, as she had no family in attendance. So off we went to pick up the groom, where we were served with light refreshments by that family and they held talks and prayers for his wedding. (As today’s wedding was to be both the Muslim ceremony and Minang wedding in the one day) We then returned to their home and left the vehicles about a block away, where we all walked the rest of the way on foot parading the Groom. I was given on of the gifts that the groom gives to his Bride. Upon arrival we entered the home and the Muslim ceremony was conducted. Then there were photos with the happy couple.
The family was then invited to cut the hair of the 2mth old baby who was the latest addition to the family. When they cut the hair it was placed in a bowl of water. Everyone took their turn to cut a small snippet of the babies hair including me. They were going to explain the significance to me, but we forgot amongst all the day’s activities. Then everyone made their way out for lunch.
After that the Bride and Groom changed into their Minang Wedding clothes for the afternoon Minang wedding day. Lunch was of course an all day affair with people arriving and congratulating the Bride and Groom and partaking of lunch. About mid afternoon Tari(an economics teachers daughter from sma1)picked me up and we spent a couple of hours catching up. She’s just recently moved there in the last few weeks to take up a Dentist position. As the wedding party was still going when I returned I had some dinner and then the happy couple came outside and mingled with the guest for a few minute’s before taking to the stage for a couple of songs. By the end of the day when it was deemed there wouldn't be many if any more guests they changed back into their Muslim wedding clothes out of the Minang – the groom then came outside & sat with his mates. After everyone had gone & a bit of clean up was being done/finished he "jammed" with his music mates.
Although all family who are staying at the marriage home help in some way with the wedding, it is not customary for guests to assist. And I ws viewed as a guest. So they were very surprised when after everyone had left and they were doing a tidy up, I helped a couple of the sisters by doing the wshing up of the magnitude of dishes!!!!
I had also left the wedding party for a couple of hours that afternoon to meet with Tari the daughter of an economics teacher from SMA1. She has just qualified as a Dentist from University in Medan, and was offered a position in Pekanbaru. So she's been here about two weeks and seems to be enjoying herself and has settled in well. She is living near to a friend she made at University in Medan. She had brought her friend along and we went to a small restaurant close to where I was staying. They sold burgers and pasta dishes. So I had my first burger since arriving in Indonesia.
I forgot to mention that the Riau custom is for the Brides to have elaborate designs marked on their hands with henna, which Chel had done. I also noticed that Chel wasn’t wearing a jilhab on Friday nor on Sunday. But then neither did some of the grooms sisters. Most of the siblings could speak quite good english as they work for oil companies that are run by foreign ownership.
On the Sunday morning after everything was packed up and the clean up was finished, one of the brohters of the Groom took us for a quick tour around Pekanbaru. We visited the library which is two years old and desgined to look like an open book. I was quite impressed at the standard as it was the best I've seen. We then saw the Governors house and then returned as it was soon time forthe Travel Bus to pick us up. Pekanbaru is not a tourist destination so there are few sights if any.
We arrived back in Payakumbah at about midnight, so we all took ourselves off to bed. The next morning was quite lazy with Trisna and her mum cooking and washing. Then I caught the bus back to Muaro. They want me to promise to visit again before I leave for home as their neighbour wants to take me shopping for cheap fabric and clothes, but you know, I think I'll be struggling as it is with my luggage weight!