Top 15 Marriage Culture in Indonesia

As an archipelago country that has hundreds of tribes, Indonesia has different kinds of marriage ceremonies. Each region has a unique marriage culture that anyone who’s seen it are able to appreciate the way it’s held. The magnificence of the existing events, food delicacies, until the length of the ritual makes many people dream to be able to do so in the near future.

From Sabang to Merauke, exclusivity has summarized some super-beautiful marriage ceremonies. This marriage is not only pleasing to the eye but also has a high philosophy and cultural values that deserve to be preserved. Here are 15 marriages in Indonesia that can make you happy till you’ll start finding a bride so you can have the marriage yourself.

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1. Javanese Marriage Ceremony

The Javanese have many customary rules and marriage procedures. The custom of marriage in the Javanese is divided into two major parts, namely the custom of pesisiran (adat loran) and customs inland (adat kidulan). The custom of Javanese pesisiran is influenced by Arab and Chinese culture, whereas Javanese marriage custom in the region of kidulan is strongly influenced by Hindu, Buddhist, and Kejawen culture.

Marriage with Javanese custom is known to be quite complicated because it has a lot of components. The event begins before the bride and groom meet during Pingitan period and then they do midodareni night, until temu penganten which means the period where the bride and groom met. The unique of Java’s traditional wedding is its magnificent decoration. Flower ornaments, janur, until bright colors fill the room. Do not miss the bride and groom dressed as king and queen of Java.

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2. Minangkabau Wedding Ceremony

The Minangkabau have a kinship system that embraces maternal or matrilineal lines. Minangkabau marriage customs do not recognize the dowry, but in the form of money pick-up (like dowry) handed over by the family of the woman to the man. The amount of money pick-up is adjusted to the socio-economic status of the family of the men.

The wedding ceremony in Minangkabau is also very lively. The bride will be dressed very beautifully complete with decoration on the head that is quite heavy. It is said that the decoration can be as heavy as up to more than one kilogram. The decoration in the aisle is always dominant in gold color and has a unique gadang home accents. Oh yes, although the ceremony is carried out traditionally, the rules still can not be separated from the Islamic tradition.

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3. Sunda Marriage Culture

This traditional marriage is almost similar to Javanese custom. The process begins long before the main feast. The proposing ceremony and the seserahan are also included in the marriage customs so it must be done in sequence. What distinguishes between the Javanese and Sundanese marriages is the ornament used by women. In Sunda, the women are not painted on the forehead like in Javanese culture, but they had to wear a crown with a dominance bright white color.

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4. Tana Toraja Marriage culture

Marriage in Tana Toraja custom is usually carried out in 3 different types. This distinction is seen from who the woman is married to. The higher the level of the man then the more majestic the marriage party will be held. Tana Toraja traditional marriage ceremony is usually carried out in a long procession before finally the bride and groom are brought to the center stage of the party. Of course, in every marriage, there is always art performances such as traditional dances.

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5. Balinese Marriage Ceremony

The traditional marriage ceremony in Bali is usually held at the groom’s house. The bride will be picked up from her residence and covered with a thin sheet of cloth. After arriving at the groom’s house, she will be greeted with several ceremonies. When the marriage ceremony runs, the bride will be dressed beautifully complete with a heavy but beautiful headdress. Indigenous wedding Bali is known to be unique because it is full of rituals that can not be missed.

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6. Sasak Marriage Ceremony

One of the uniqueness of Sasak traditional marriage is where the bride will be kidnapped or taken away as the first step of marriage. Furthermore, the ritual is followed by negotiation about the dowry until the marriage happen. In the tradition of Sasak traditional wedding, there is an event called nyongkolan. The event was conducted by parading the bride and groom using a stretcher in the form of a horse or on foot.

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7. Betawi Marriage Ceremony

Traditional Marriage of Betawi ceremony is unique because it always presents performances in every process. Such as interpolated pantun or pencak performances in front of the wedding venue. In this event, the bride will be dressed with a crown that has a cover on the front. This cover is usually just a vine tendrils that can be opened to the left and right. The groom usually wears a kind of turban on his head with the Javanese bamboo ornaments that have been strung together.

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8. Batak Marriage Ceremony

In Batak custom, marriage is a form of sacrifice for Parboru or the bride because she has to sacrifice to give one life alive to Paranak or the groom. That’s why the men should really appreciate the sacrificial form of one’s life. This form of offerings is usually done by slaughtering a cow or buffalo to be eaten in the form of traditional food called Ulaon Unjuk.

Many important rituals that must be done from the preparation till the marriage to take place. All done sequentially so it takes a long time. In this marriage, the bride is dressed with a red headband. Meanwhile, the groom will wear a head-shaped accessory as well as a taper-shaped upward. The ceremony is very lively and all the families help each other to participate in the wedding tradition of the bride and groom.

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9. Nias Marriage Ceremony

For the people of Nias, women have considerable meaning in society. This is shown by the dowry that must be given by the family of men with a large value dependent on the higher status of the woman whom to marry into. Almost similar to Tana Toraja custom, marriage here requires a pretty fantastic cost. Although known to be very expensive, residents in this region still uphold the culture up until now.

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10. Dayak Marriage Ceremony

A Dayak girl may marry another tribe if he is willing to submit to Dayak custom. Basically, Dayak tribal parents play an important role in thinking about the candidate for their daughter, but it is also wise to ask the woman whether she likes to match with the candidate they choose. Dayak tribe has many regions scattered in various parts of Kalimantan island. Each region usually has its own unique tradition. But in essence, the marriage that’s done in Dayak custom is done by proposing. The men’s family will pay the dowry if the proposal is approved. This dowry can be a piece of jewelry or one that can be used for the marriage ceremony.

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11. Bugis Marriage Ceremony

Bugis tribe marriage custom has been known as an expensive tribal marriage due to the value of the dowry that must be given with gold. But not just the expensive dowry that becomes the burden, the process of custom held by Bugis tribe was quite long and festive because it involves all people from the families of both parties in every process. The price range that must be spent for the traditional marriage of Bugis is minimum Rp180 million. This cost includes the rental of buildings for marriage, consumption, decorations, documentation, makeup, wedding clothes, engagement rings, and dowries.

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12. Banjar Marriage Ceremony

Banjar tribe also has a marriage tradition that must be followed. Just like other customary marriage traditions, Banjar tribal marriage is also known as a relatively expensive wedding, because the marriage process is lively and long enough. The man will come to the prospective bride’s house to conduct the process of exploration or family introduction. It is characterized by a family of men coming with a crowd of families by lighting and carrying torches at night. The marriage of the Banjar tribe involves many people, both from the family side, the people around the community and honorary figures.

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Others (13-15)

There are also three marriage ceremonies left which Indonesian have, as follows:

13. Irian Marriage Ceremony: The Irian tribe has many kinds of marriage customs because the tribe is divided into many tribal regions. In general, however, marriage is almost similar and the Irian marriage custom is simple compared to other regions in Indonesia. The most important thing in the marriage custom is the negotiation and payment of dowry called krae. Dowry can be a pig, a series of shell or beaded jewellery, a large shell ornament called sebkos, a belt of beads called bitem. In the development of the dowry they then often coupled it with some money.

14. Ambon Marriage Ceremony: The simple marriage of Ambon makes marriage even easier, although there is a similarity between this marriage custom to another traditional marriage. The difference lays in the pre-marriage event or proposal that is intriguing and often called Marriage Entry Request in which the engagement relationship between the two potential married couples has been known by the parents of both parties where their age has been mature enough to be engaged

15. Yogyakarta Marriage Ceremony: The procession is started ahead of the wedding. Starting from the proposal accompanied by the delivery of souvenirs from the groom named Jodang. It contained rengginang, diamond, jadah, and other valuables. There is also a tradition Peningsetan or surrender something from a male parent to a prospective bride. After completion, proceed with tarub ceremony by installing yellow janur decoration, Siraman for bride, Midodareni which held at 18.00 – 24.00 before the wedding. It is said that the bride should not sleep all night.

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Indonesia is very rich in culture and customs and this also affects the traditional marriage ceremony that is still running until now. The ceremony is so thick in the old tradition that it is not surprising that marriage becomes a pretty sacred moment for all the parties involved. This is something that’s uniquely Indonesia.