Thursday, 7 January 2010

Balinese wedding ceremony

Being a volunteer in a foreign country should always be more than just sitting in an office. It should be about making new friends and experiencing a different culture. Luckily for me this is easy in Bali, where the locals are superfriendly, and especially being based in Ubud, which is known as the cultural heartland of Bali. So it was with great anticipation and a big smile on my face I accepted an initiation to my colleague – Widi‘s- wedding.
In Bali it is customary to have two separate ceremonies for a wedding, first there is a ceremony in the place where the couple will be living (usually with the groom’s family), then a second one saying goodbye to the old home (usually the bride’s family) and so it was his time as well. Weddings start early here, and at 8.30 we where in the office trying on our new outfits. That is, having someone else dress us as if we where small children, in order not to loose our sarongs or otherwise make a cultural fau paux. For us girls this was not an issue as we work with another female, the boys on the other hand had to poke their heads out the office and ask around until a male staff member of our neighbouring restaurant would help them. Anyway, we eventually got dressed and headed out on our scooters to the small village where the first ceremony would be held. Over the course of the day we made some great new friends, learned about the importance of family relationships, and were fed loads of yummy foods before the ceremonies ended. We never made it to the second ceremony at the bride’s family house, already being knocked out by the intense heat and the massive amounts of rice and whole roasted pork so duly headed back to the office and our SOS duties.
It was all in all a great experience and I wish Widi all the luck in the world now that she is starting a family on her own.
Thank you very much for including us on your special day!

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