Traditional Malay Wedding

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We have been to a great deal of weddings here in Sabah, in the past few years, and for one reason or another never had taken photos. This time we wanted to make sure we came away with more than just memories..

First a little bit about Sabah and Malaysian weddings -

Malaysia is so multicultural you might find yourself encountering really diverse types of wedding ceremonies: here in Sabah alone there are some 30 different ethnic groups including Malays, Chinese, Kadazans, Dusuns, Muruts, Rungus, Bajaos, Suluks, and each has their own traditional styles of wedding.

The following Malay- Muslim one is just one of the many types. A Malay wedding ceremony spreads over two days, beginning with the akad nikah ceremony. The groom signs the marriage contract and agrees to provide the bride with a mas kahwin (dowry). After that, their hands are dyed with henna during the berinai besar ceremony. The bride's hair is also trimmed or her eyebrows shaped by a beautician known as the mak andam.

The second day, the groom is accompanied by friends, relatives, musicians and bunga manggar (palm blossom) carriers to the bride's house where they are usually greeted with the sprinkling of yellow rice and scented water.

Sometimes, the pencak silat or the traditional Malay Martial Art is performed. To add gaiety to the joyful affair, the groom and his party are required to overcome humorous obstacles before being allowed to go in.

On the way to the wedding we drove over the bridge over the Mengkabong, it was a clear day with totally amazing views of Mount Kinabalu.


Here we are outside the groom's house in a kampung in the Tuaran area, greeted by friends and relatives.


Everyone eats outdoors where a wide range of dishes are spread out on tables. I made my way straight for the buffet dug right in!


In the Malay-style wedding, the bride and Groom are like the "king and queen" for one day. Don't they look fabulous?! The Keris (traditional Malay knife) by his side is quite real so don't be making eyes at the bride!


There are also of course many 'modern-western' style weddings these days and - being a natural, tropical, multicultural, and gastronomical paradise - Sabah is also an excellent place for you to have your own wedding or honeymoon at one of our many internationally renowned 5 star beach hotels.

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This page contains a single entry by SabahGuide published on June 8, 2009 3:08 PM.

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