Dewa gave me a few insights into the ceremony, which took place in December at Dewa’s parents’ house.
As the usual the Balinese person gets married (pawiwahan or nganten) it must be done the ‘proper way’ which means in front of the whole village. If a man is living in his own place it will be at his house, if not at the home of his parents, the new wife moving in immediately. When people get married in Bali, the man takes responsibility as a member of society. He gets the right to speak at a Banjar (the community body) meeting and must take on social duties, such as attending the temple ceremonies and taking part in the community activities. In this way other members of the Banjar will come to recognize him as an adult and he will have the opportunity to take on more responsibility in the Banjar.
Hindu wedding ceremonies are rich in tradition; between elaborate entertainment (with storytellers!) ritual and food, it sounds like magic. Dewa provided me with a few highlights:
- The wedding ceremony begins with a Memadik process, where the groom’s family meet with the bride’s family to ask the bride if she wants to marry the groom. If the answer is yes, the bride will go with the groom to his family’s house.
- The groom’s family arranges and pays for the wedding; the date set well in advance on a propitious day. Wedding guests are often entertained by professional storytellers and musicians. Enormously detailed rules govern dining and seating arrangements.
- Usually the bride and groom offer food to one another, then simulate such domestic duties such as washing, cooking rice, and cutting bamboo. Prayers are intoned, and then the couple eats together in public, feeding each other. This is an important symbolic act, as in former times only married men and women were allowed to eat food together in public. The priest then performs a ritual purification and blesses the couple.
- With the wedding process in Bali, both families will unite, not simply the bride and groom… This is why there is always many people attending a ceremony.
Devi takes part in the family business in Bali that makes our magic hand-knitted hats, making her an important part of the Spacecraft. Congratulations to Dewa and Devi for making it happen.