January 6, 2014

The most exhausting day of your life

When my father got out of the hospital after 2 and a half week we agreed to go through with the wedding.

My fiancé had asked my father for my hand but he never officially asked me if I would marry him. Just the evening before the wedding would take place he took me to a quiet spot at the beach and went down on one knee. The moonlight reflected on the sea, and we were surrounded by the sound of the waves crashing on the beach..eventhough we were about to get married the next day. He sounded so nervous when he was telling me why he wanted to marry me and asked if I wanted to marry him too. Of course I said yes and accepted his ring.  

Instead of 07-07-'12 we the wedding took place on 18-07-'12. We were exhausted after this stressful period but the date could not be postponed any further because the holiday of our guests was almost over! One of my friends even missed the wedding because her flight was a few days before. Familymembers have been busy with preparations for our wedding. They decorated the house and cooked all night enough food to feed the whole village. 

On the day of the wedding I finally got to wear my dress that was specially made for me from my design. My mother gave me something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. My sister in law did my make-up. In the meanwhile an aunt of mine accidentally ironed a hole in the traditional Malay suit which the groom was supposed to wear. They managed to fix it in time but it was stressful for a moment. 

When everyone was ready we went to the mosque where the nikah (Islamic marriage) ceremony would take place. It is different from marriage ceremonies most people are used to in the Netherlands. In Malay marriages the ceremony is actually between the imam, the groom, the brides father and 2 male witnesses from both sides of the family. I only had to give my consent for the marriage when my father asked me prior to the ceremony.  

My husband therefore had the hardest tasks, the ceremony was mostly in Malay and he had to reply to the questions in Malay correctly. He did not learn the language yet so it was nerve wrecking for him to remember what he had to say. Eventually everything just turned out to be fine. I did read a poem to my parents, which was an very emotional moment and, as usual, my mom and I cried together. 

After the official ceremony at the mosque everyone went back to my fathers house at the beach. The buffet was ready and everyone ate, many village people, family, friends and also tourist came over to congratulate us and eat. 

In the afternoon, we had to sit down of a "stage" so our guests could take pictures with us and speak out their prayers/ wishes for us while sprinkling traditional flowers, leaves and rice over our hands. One of my younger brothers and two of my brothers in law both entertained us with dance performances they prepared for us. Afterwards we went to the beach to take pictures.

All day people came by it had been a long day. When finally the night has come we passed out on the bed of exhaustion and we slept like babies until the next day.

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