Malay Wedding Reception

BradleyLife in Singapore, Religion2 Comments

In October of last year I had the opportunity to go to a Singaporean Chinese wedding reception and I was really impressed.  The food was incredible.  Everyone was dressed well.  It was formal and elegant.  It was also a sharp contrast to the Malay wedding reception we went to.  Not in a bad way of course.

I suppose the best way to put it is to say that the Malay wedding reception was more lively.  There were drums, bright colors, dancing and the atmosphere was much less formal.  I felt a bit overdressed in my fancy slacks and button up shirt.

We arrived just in time to see the groom arrive.  In fact, we were kind of lost and when we heard the drums I said, “I wonder if that’s the wedding?”  So, we walked quickly over and saw a group of guys wearing red shirts playing drums, with a guy in a light purple garment walking at the front.  Sure enough, we’d found the wedding reception.

The music was really, really cool.  I tried to take some video of the event.  You can see it embedded below.  I had a problem where my camera didn’t want to focus properly and I think it has something to do with the shade of red that was being worn by the drummers, and the red cloth that was hanging behind the bride.  My camera uses a reddish colored light to focus its picture.  Regardless, it’s worth watching if for nothing more than to hear the drummers.

In the beginning, the video shows the groom’s retinue approaching the reception hall.  Then, it shows the groom sitting on the opposite side of the hall from the bride, with one of the drummers doing a ceremonial dance.  It looks almost as if the drummer passed something off to the groom.  The last two portions are when the groom is already seated beside the bride.

Here are a few photos of the event:

Year of the Tiger decorations in front of the reception hall.

The bride, waiting on the dais next to her mother, with a fan hiding her face.

The groom at the stage, with his friends offering small envelopes (presumably with money inside) to the bride’s mother, to secure the groom’s position by his bride.

The bride and groom leaving the reception.

The car they’re taking.  They’re definitely riding in style!
We had a great time at the reception and enjoyed the music, the dancing, and the food.  I’m glad we had the chance to take part in the celebration.  It was a learning experience for us, and one I’m glad we didn’t miss out on during our stay here in Singapore.

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2 Comments on "Malay Wedding Reception"

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Brad F.

Well, I just did a quick check and it looks like 3 out of 10 marriages here end in divorce. That's a pretty high figure but not as high as the US!

rowena

Just out of curiosity as an offshoot to this post….what is the divorce rate in Singapore? Over here in Italy it's rising like anywhere else in the western world. First they spend a ton of dough on the wedding and then split up after a few years. Sad really…

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