Thursday, November 04, 2010

Unconventional Wedding

When my friend Zac announced he was getting married, we sort of expected everything typical of a wedding would not happen, him being such an untypical person. The wedding invite already was different, with a short story on how they met. And not a single trace of red on the card. :)

Then, the location was also one of a kind, the Maritime Centre in Putrajaya. At first I thought it was a hotel but was later told it was outdoors beside a lake. We arrived late because, well, because we forgot to factor in Lost-in-Putrajaya time, which most of the guests who arrived on time did.

See that little anchor to the bottom right of the circle of buildings? That's where they said their vows facing the lake.
Apparently he was supposed to arrive at the alter with his bike but it broke down despite him spending hours fixing it up. Thank God for fine weather in the midst of this rainy season!

I regreted not bringing my camera so the next few photos are courtesy of my phone camera, hence the blurness and inability to zoom in.

Zac, being a Kelabit (read about them here and here), has extremely talented relatives who are all very close knit. His cousins went up on stage to sing, all his uncles and aunts went up to sing a traditional poem called Tutuq udan napera (Rain, referring to blessings, will fall in torrents) customized by his mother for his wedding and sung in their native language. Seen here are his aunts who wore traditional clothes and performed their traditional Flight of the Hornbill dance. 

And there's his brother, David, who performed the Kelabit warrior dance. He was a major attraction as many wanted to take photos with him, as seen here. Our photo was taken by another friend but I think I'll have to wait till kingdom come before I actually get a copy of it.

At the end of the wedding, the family made the couple do their first dance. Again, this ain't no waltz. Zac had to do the warriors dance complete with shouts while Jean had to do the Hornbill Dance. They were so sporting!

Also, their wedding favours were different. At first glance, many mistook the one wrapped in green as pulut. This is Bario salt and cinnamon. Bario salt is harvested from natural springs, the water boiled off over fires stoked over days. It is then stuffed into bamboo lined with leaves and further dried. The bamboo is then cracked open and the salt chopped into smaller pieces. Their ancestors used to use this as their currency, bartering for goods from other tribes. It is supposed to be very fragrant. Salt (God called us to be the salt of the world) + cinnamon = spices, to wish guests everything nice.

All in all, the warmth exuded by this family, the pride of their culture left a heartfelt tingle as we made our way home that night.

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