Marriage Rituals Lombok

Marriage Rituals Lombok
Young couple in Lombok have a choice of three rituals; the first is an arranged marriage, the second a union between cousins, and the third elopement. The first two are uncomplicated: the parents of the prospective bridal couple meet to discuss the bride's dowry and sort out any religious differences. Having handled the business arrangements, the ceremony called "sorong serah" is performed.
The third method is far more complicated and dramatic. Theoretically a young girl is forbidden to marry a man of a lower caste, but this rule can be broken through kidnapping and eloping. As a result, eloping is still a widespread practice on Lombok, despite the fact that in most instances the parents of the couple know what's afoot.

Originally it was used as a means of eluding other competitors for the girl's hand or in order to avoid family friction, but it also minimized the heavy expenses of a wedding ceremony. The rules of this ritual are laid down and must be followed step by step. After the girl is spirited away by the boy, he required to report to the Kepala Desa (Chief of the Village). The Kepala Desa then notifies the girl's family through the head of their village. A delegation from the boy's family visits the girl's parent, and between them they settle on a price for the bride, a fine (uang adat) which is distributed among members of the bride's family in recompense for losing her.

Traditional dowries are worked out according to the caste differences; the lower his caste and the higher hers, the more he has to pay. Once this has been settled the wedding begins. Generally the bride and the groom dressed in ceremonial clothes, carried through the village's street, accompanied with sounds of traditional music (gamelan) mingle with the shouts and laughter of the guests as the couple are swooped up and down and around on their way to the wedding place. Throughout the whole ceremony, the bride must look downcast and unhappy at the prospect of leaving her family.

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