Malay Traditional Wedding Attire

Written by louise scrivens
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Malay Traditional Wedding Attire
The bride and groom's hands are decorated with henna. (henna hands image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)

A Malay wedding is a very regal affair. It is divided into two parts: the akad nikah, which is the marriage contract, and the family celebration, which is called the bersanding or the enthronement ceremony. The bride and groom sit like king and queen, dressed in richly decorated attire, feeding each other yellow rice with their hands decorated with henna while their guests join them in celebrating their happy day. Various royal customs are performed for them, including musicians playing court music. The Malay ceremony is based on traditions dating back centuries.

Other People Are Reading

Culture

The Malay are Malaysia's largest ethnic group, accounting for more than 1/2 the population and the national language, but the country consists of a wealth of cultures, including Indian, Chinese and Portuguese. The customs of a Malay wedding ceremony reflect that diversity.

Groom

The groom wears the traditional Malay costume of Baju Melayu, which translates as "Malay shirt" and consists of a long-sleeved shirt and trousers. He wears head wear known as tanjak; it is commonly made from a type of woven silk fabric. He also wears a dagger known as a keris, which is indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. As he walks with family members to the home of his bride, it is common for the best man to shade him with a gold-coloured umbrella accompanied by palm blossom carriers.

Bride

The bride, who stands outside her home to wait for her husband-to-be, wears an embroidered baju kurung, the traditional Malay dress for women. This dress, which is a long-sleeved blouse over a matching sarong, often is well-coordinated with her husband's outfit. The modern version of this dress is the baju kebaya. She also wears a tudung, which is a hijab or headscarf to cover her hair and a selendang, or embroidered and beaded shawl over the tudung. A crown placed on top of the shawl signifies her importance for the day. With flower girls behind her, she walks from her house to meet the groom a few yards from her home.

Henna

The bride's palms and feet are decorated using dye from henna leaves to signify fertility and love. The groom's hands are decorated, too. Hands and feet are chosen for decoration because it is thought that the dye will last longer there. This marriage custom is also common in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Morocco. Following this ritual, the bride and groom change attire for photographs.

Guests

It is Malay tradition to have a lot of guests at the wedding. If the ceremony takes place in a village, the whole village is invited. According to an e-Borneo.com article," "the more the merrier" is one of the most "important concepts" at a Malay wedding.

It is appropriate for women guests to wear a long-sleeved dress, and many women cover their head. Men often wear either a business suit or long-sleeved shirt with trousers.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.