Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shopping for the Wedding in Malaysia: Part 2

I find some of the parts of planning my wedding in Malaysia are quite interesting because of the bits and pieces of Chinese wedding customs and traditions that my husband and I have to go through during our wedding ceremony. They are personally unique for me because I think Chinese Indonesians don't strictly practice some of these any longer in Indonesia (or in my hometown particularly or in my family at least). Err... Actually, after checking with my Dad, Chinese Indonesians did all these wedding customs and traditions too during my parents' generation. 

Following are the things that my husband and his Mom purchased in preparation of our upcoming wedding in Malaysia next month:

8. A brand new set of bed linen to be installed in the bridal bed. 

From my reading in the internet, apparently the bed linen for the bridal bed traditionally should be in red if the Bride is married for the first time and in pink or peach color for her second or next marriage. 

New set of bed sheet for the wedding room.

Obviously, we skip this specific tradition since we purposely did not buy the striking red bed linen and it's going to be my first marriage. I am still not sure how my Mom-in-Law will decorate the wedding room later on. There will be lots and lots of red ribbons for the bedding perhaps?

9. 拜拜 (Bai bai) stuff.

拜拜 stuff for our wedding day in Malaysia.

My husband and his family practice Buddhism, hence they will have to pray to the Gods and ancestors during our wedding ceremony. As for me, I might have to skip this part since I am a Christian. No pun intended though. Let see how this wedding ceremony goes.


In Chinese custom, the Groom sends betrothal items to the Bride before the wedding day. Each of the betrothal items is symbolic and has significant meanings. I am not sure if there would be special ceremony to pass all the betrothal items for me but I am guessing no. All the betrothal items that my husband and Mom-in-Law bought are actually already sitting nicely under my working table in my room now.

10. Betrothal item no. 1: Red umbrella.

Not an ordinary red umbrella I have here.

My husband and his Mom bought a symbolic red umbrella for me. To my understanding, this red umbrella will be used by my Dad on my wedding day when he sends me to the wedding car when I leave the wedding house. My Dad will have to use the umbrella to protect me, the Bride, from the sun and other evil spirits from above.

11. Betrothal item no. 2: A pair of lamps.

A pair of lamps that we bought.

Lamps in Chinese (deng) has a similar sound to sons ( = ding). Therefore, a pair of lamps symbolizes the wish that the Bride will give birth to sons to the family after she gets married. Also, the lamps will be placed in the wedding room (next to or in between of the bridal bed) and lighted for three days in a row. This denotes long and bright future ahead for the couple. Actually it's best if we bought a pair of red lamps for the wedding purpose. However, since we thought that red lamps have less functionality in the long run, we decided to just buy more normal table lamps that we can use again after the wedding.

12. Betrothal item no. 3: A set of baby bath tub, basin and potty.

A set of baby bath tub, basin and potty to pressure the Bride. *joking*

I think the message behind presenting the Bride with a set of baby stuff is crystal clear: "Go make a baby quickly!" But really, this is true. These stuff is given to the Bride as a hope for a baby soon to the newly married couple. Usually, all the baby stuff for the betrothal item should also be in red color. Unfortunately, my husband could not find a good quality of red baby bath tub so he went ahead with the pink one (which is much better, I think)!

That's all for the shopping updates for the upcoming wedding in Malaysia thus far. Maybe there will be more shopping spree to come, especially for the betrothal items, but I myself am not too certain on this. Let's watch and see.

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