Wedding & Tradition

by Amalia

I went to ICTheek (computer lab) at 8.30am today to do a report assignment with my classmates Shilpa and Li Lun. In the middle of doing the assignment, we caught in a hard-to-stop conversation ranging from traveling, marriage, to culture! (Shilpa is from India and Li Lun is from China; so our talk was very multicultural!)

Talk about marriage… I discover that we — Asians — have similar culture when it comes to wedding. We would invite EVERYONE; from relatives, neighbors, people whom we barely met, to hi-bye friends. What makes me raise my eyebrows is that, most of these guests are our parents’ friends whom you don’t even know about! Seriously, why would you spend so much money for the wedding party of your “parents”? I wonder. Though I complain about it, there’s nothing I can do with it. I can’t really escape from this tradition. If I were given a choice, I would have definitely go for a traditional wedding ceremony attended by only close friends and relatives. I wouldn’t even have any problems if I were not to have any wedding celebrations! I would rather save the money supposedly used for my wedding for my family’s future!

Shilpa told me that she invited 1,000 guests to her wedding few years ago. That’s a massive number! She said that her wedding lasted for almost 1 week. Some small “parties” and celebrations were held and organized in the first few days of the wedding by the bride- and groom-to-be’s family separately. I can’t imagine how tiring it must be for her! Even she thought that the money spent for the wedding was better be spent for something else. But tradition and culture were hard to skip, were they? 🙂

In Betawi culture (my mom is a Betawi by the way), there is a long lasting tradition that if you’re married, you need to give a so called berkat (a basket of staple foods or even cooked meals!) to your family and relatives. The problem is that, Betawi people have MAAAANY relatives. The last time my cousin was married, she had to give baskets of berkat to at least 40 houses! Can you imagine that?!?! I feel like this is such a waste of money! Why would you give staple foods to people who have no financial difficulties at all?!?!? Isn’t it better if you can just give those foods to the people who need the most?!?! Again, I wonder why.

And I wonder whether I can break this tradition if I end up marrying someone. Alright, perhaps I can tolerate the need to throw a wedding party and having to receive unknown guests to my party, but I definitely can’t tolerate having to feed 40 middle to upper class families!!!

Give me a break!