Traditions are an important part of the Balinese life. The wedding is one the most important parts of the Balinese Hindu. A wedding will bring the couple to a new stage of life and will make the groom more responsible in society. There are different types of weddings here in Bali and we will describe them for you.
With a Ngerorod wedding, the husband “kidnaps” his future wife and takes her to a pre-arranged place where the parents of the future wife cannot find her. This is mostly at a friend’s place, so people know what is going on. The girl is not allowed to go back to see her family again and will stay with her future husband. Her father will raise an alarm and starts a fake search party. Off course they wont find her and go home without luck. During the search, the husband and wife are living together like they are married and make offerings to the gods.
After a few days, the groom and father of the bride will discuss with the union about the payment. After this, an official celebration will take place, but this more for formality because in the eyes of the gods they are already married. The Balinese people really enjoy the whole show around the “kidnapping”.
The Memadik wedding is a wedding that exists out of several steps. Four steps in total:
- Ngaba Jaja
The first step is the Memadik. This means that the family of the groom goes to the village of the bride and informs their family that their son asked their daughter to marry him. This is also the first introduction between both families. After the first step, Ngidih follows. This means that the parents, family, formal and informal leaders of the village escort the groom to the bride’s village to discuss about the values of the marriage, demographic status of the residency requirements and about the rights of the woman in the marriage. This is followed by a Manapit (farewell). This means that the woman asks for permission to leave the village to all her love ones. After they leave the woman’s village they first go to the temple for a ceremony. Arrived at the house of the man there will be a ceremony again. The man informs the others from the village that there will be a new member. The third step exist that the woman’s family is informed that all steps are fulfilled at the man’s village. This step also involves offers at the village temple, family temples and the family temple of the woman. This is very nice to see because everybody is full of joy, wears beautiful clothes and everything is decorated. Then it is time to start with the official wedding ceremony. The bride and the groom perform several traditional steps, like a cleansing ritual, prayers by family to ask for Gods blessing upon the new couple, a ritual where the wife caries a basket with cooked rice and sate but also several kitchen tools and herbs. The groom caries a grouting coconut that symbolizes the new life that they are about to enter, strapped to a branch of the dadap tree. He also carries a sapu lidi, to keep bad spirits away from his bride. In his sarong, he keeps a keteng, a traditional coin. Then the man must go shopping at the market at the compound and have to come back with a coconut that is scooped out with a duck egg in placed in it. This coconut will be placed under the bed of the bride because this fertilized the woman to give birth to healthy children. After this the woman will feed the groom with the rice and he must pay for it with the keteng. The final act is that the husband must pierce to a woven matting held by the wife with his kris (small dagger). This stands for the ‘deflowering’ of the wife in the new marriage. The last step is called the “Ngaba Jaja”, what means bring souvenir. The Nganten is now official over.
The Nyentana wedding is a wedding where the man leaves his house and goes to live at his wife’s house. He belongs to the woman’s family now. This often happens when the family of the woman doesn’t have any sons. They want the man to look after their property and expect from him to continue the male lineage. In this case, it’s the man’s parents that are asked by the woman’s parents for their approval.
These are the three types of weddings that Bali offers. If you ever get invited to a wedding, don’t hesitate and just go to the wedding! They will make you feel very welcome. There will be colourful decorations, good food and much happiness. If you ever been to a Balinese wedding, we from Odysseys Surf School are very interested in your experience, so don’t forget to leave a comment.