Monday, June 4, 2012

A Very Bali Wedding

Jennifer loves Bali. She loves it so much we've been there three times. On our last trip, we actually got an invitation to a traditional Balinese wedding near Ubud! My mom came with us for this trip, and she was happy to come along for the wedding as well.

The whole village dresses up in their batik shirts, sarongs, and headgear for the wedding. Craig Jessop says to never mis-match your plaids, but in Bali, it's okay to mis-match your batiks.

The wedding starts at the bride's house where the bride and groom kneel in front of her parent's room. It's here that the representatives of each party negotiate the terms of the wedding and give advice to the new couple.

Here is the bride and groom in traditional Balinese dress. The man wears a gelong and a sarong. The woman wears a kebaya, sash, and sarong.

Before leaving the bride's house, the couple pays their respects to the family by praying at the ancestral altars located within the inner walls of the house. Everyone in Bali is extremely religious. The official religion is Hindu, but the Balinese have blended in their own ancient traditions to create a very unique version that is only practiced on the island. The Balinese believe that all of their ancestors still live at the family house. Because of this, Balinese rarely sell their homes, and instead, they are passed down for generations to the oldest son of the family. The corner of the house that is closest to Genung Agung is considered the closest to heaven, and contains the ancestral altars. This is where the spirits of the family's ancestors reside.

After praying at the ancestral altars, the bride and groom lead the wedding party to the groom's house. Do you see the two blondies in the wedding procession?

After arriving at the groom's house, the wedding party continues praying and offering food to the ancestral spirits. They wash their hands, and then breathe in the incense. This cleans the outside and the inside of their bodies before the final parts of the ceremony.

The bride and groom also pay their respects to the ancestral altars at the groom's house. After all of the praying, then the bride and groom are officially married, and then everyone joins together for a buffet dinner. Some traditions are universal!

It was wonderful to participate in Balinese culture in an intimate setting! Plus, we got to mis-match our batiks! Well, Craig and I did anyway!

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