I have always found traditional Indonesian weddings fascinating. While our country is made up of different ethnic groups with various customs and traditions, we can always count on the same captivating mixtures of colors, joy and solemnity. Traditional weddings are often rich in symbolism and when we absorb the meaning of it all, that’s when weddings become emotional for everyone, not only for the bride and groom and their families, but also for the attendance, as well as the people – such as myself – who are privileged to witness the start of a couple’s new journey together.
Today I’d like to share with you one of my favorite Javanese weddings. It’s of Aryo and Saras.
There are many rituals of a Javanese wedding that I find interesting – such as “siraman” which is one of the first rituals done to prepare the couple for the ceremonies. It means “to bathe” and is meant to cleanse the couples’ bodies and souls; the ritual of “Wiji Dadi” where the groom breaks an egg with his right foot to symbolize that he is ready to become a responsible husband and father, and where the bride cleanses his foot with water mixed with several types of fragrant flowers as a symbol of her dedication and faithfulness to him. But what I especially enjoyed – especially in this wedding of Aryo and Saras – is the ritual of “Sungkeman”. This is an emotional moment where the bride and the groom will ask their parents for forgiveness of their past sins and blessings to marry the person of their choice. Here they express their gratitude for raising them thus far and ask for their permission to be released from their houses to spend the rest of their lives with the good person that has won their hearts. It is truly an emotional moment, for both the couple and their parents. Their emotions filled the entire room as tears filled their eyes and happiness filled their hearts.
I hope you enjoy this video as much I enjoyed directing it. To Aryo and Saras – congratulations! Here’s to your happily ever after.