A post on posts (and eventually gifts)

There isn’t much to update, except that it’s Friday night YAAAYYYYYY!!! Who doesn’t like Friday night, you tell me? Time to party to kick back and watch TV without worrying about work the next day (although technically I am still heading back to work on an entirely voluntary basis).

I guess I kind of missed this space. There have been ideas for wedding-related posts, such as my ideal wedding songlist (but that would require me to post from my laptop rather than my iPhone which is what I have been doing for the previous few posts, lazy blogger that I am, and ambitious me wants to do Malay-to-English translations for the lyrics because I get a kick out of it, so that would take some time), my opinion on wedding sponsorship inspired by the latest wedding-of-the-year announcement (which would so make me out to be somewhat of a sour grape, if phrased without care, which means that it would also take some time to not make it so), and more 4P (pengantin pelik punya persalinan)-related ideas.

I guess I’ll just update about the latest concrete thing I’ve done for my wedding: I’ve purchased my very first hantaran gift! Make no mistake, it’s my hantaran gift, which means it would be on one of the trays that I would receive from my mister. Yes, I am totally into being practical; I buy what I would use, he buys what he would use, then we’ll just pass the gifts to each other to be decorated. (Although I suspect that I would end up buying his gifts for him too, me being the shopperholic that I am, and if he stays as nonchalant as he has been so far about wedding-related matters.)

If I had my way I would do away with this tradition altogether as not only does it incur extra (unnecessary) cost to the total wedding expenditure, it also strikes me to be more an exercise in materialistic display than anything else. Designer bags, branded skincare, the latest geek gadgets, huge-ass cameras, the more expensive the price and obscure the name, the better as it supposedly shows how far you’ve arrived (or how you’ve scored a great catch of a husband). I would be the first to admit that I have been sucked into subscribing to this mindset before. I remember telling a younger cousin once that when I get married, I would have my groom put a C bag on one of the trays. That was the time before I could afford one; now that I could and have afforded a number of them and others like S and L and J – more because I love their designs and don’t believe in buying counterfeit – I don’t see the point in making my mister buy one more just for the sake of display. Yes, I would probably buy more in the future, or he would gift me, but that would be a personal act by an individual to indulge herself / between two lovers who would like to express their love through the act of gifting. There is no need for anyone else to know (beyond the usual few people you share such incidents of joy with because you know that they’d be sincerely happy for you).

If I had my way, I would do away with this tradition altogether. I am still abiding by it because it is one of those things that my mom says has to be in a Malay wedding. Since I have already ‘wrestled’ the steering of the ship of wedding planning from her through loud hints for at least one year before, I guess it’s only right I keep certain things to make her happy.

Despite the nature of my job and the vital role I play in supposedly preserving culture by transmitting it, I hold on to the principle encapsulated by the saying, ‘hilang adat tegal muafakat’; the customary way of doing things can be changed if there’s consensus. If we the younger generation all agree about the excessive nature that Malay weddings have become, by speaking up about it, we could change things in the next generation. I, for one, would not impose such tradition on my hypotethical son or daughter. Want to get married? Is he earning enough to support you? Are you both earning enough to support yourselves and contribute a portion to starting a family with your equal partner? Do you both see and treat each other as equal partners in the first place? Do you both love God more than each other? Do you both believe in working together to obey God to achieve spiritual highs (and not one of you obeying the other because that’s the easy way to heaven?) (Yes I can’t help but put my feminist take on things.) Those are the questions that I would probably ask before I say “Ok go get married and have your wedding the way you want – or just get the important part done without a wedding if you don’t have the funds. Bonda will just post an announcement on Facebook to tell the whole wide world that you’re married.”

2 thoughts on “A post on posts (and eventually gifts)

    • Well the first meaning that appeared when I googled it goes “adat kebiasaan boleh diubah asalkan ada persetujuan orang banyak” so I guess my translation’s on the right track, right? Anyway it just goes to show how we are a dynamic people; in fact, in the past, rituals that were influenced by Hinduism and found to be at odds with Islamic teaching (one example is mandi Safar) have been discarded. Maybe I should use more peribahasa in here, then more people can learn! ;P

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