Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Wedding Three

Typical Malay Wedding Luncheon held at a void deck of a flat

Sundays are best left to attend wedding receptions.

For many Malays in Singapore, the whole year is open to wedding invitations on the weekends with the exception of two important months of the year... Ramadan and Hari Raya Eidulfitri.

It would not make any sense to invite anyone for a feasting luncheon when everyone is observing the fast from dawn till dusk during Ramadan.

And everybody will be so busy going visiting to families' and friends' places during the celebration month of Hari Raya Eidulfitri. In fact some families would go off to Malaysia or Indonesia to visit their families or relations overseas.

Invitations from the host would normally be coming via our parents, acting as a "distribution centre" to their children on behalf of the host. They would normally visit the elders' homes as a form of respect to invite them and their family to the wedding, about a month prior to the occasion.

I have to admit that I have a very bad habit of not showing up for such invitations, except for very close relations. I will only hand Mom a "green packet" for my parents or any of my siblings who are attending to give the host my gift and regards.

Typical Malay wedding luncheon with a dais on the far right

A typical Malay wedding would be held at the void deck of the parents' flat. All decked out nicely with a dais for the happy couple to introduce themselves and picture takings with their guests.

Both the bride and groom will hold their own wedding luncheon at both of their homes. So if both families were somehow related to you, you would probably receive two wedding invitations and obliged to go to both places.

The food spread would be a gastronomical feast, but tilted richly to the high calorie and cholesterol mix... like anything in life too good a thing is very harmful! What is worse is that instead of ala carte, nowadays its buffet style, so pigging out is an option.

Nasi Beryani or yellow spiced rice is normally served with mutton or beef curry. Fried chicken and Ayam Masak Merah or chicken in red-sauce, sweet and sour fried fish cutlets and Achar or spiced-sour cucumber and carrots... among other dishes that make the guests spoiled for choice.

Desserts will be aplenty with combinations of Malay Kueh and western cakes and cookies.

Do not get me wrong, the food spread is wonderful and befitting the occasion, but eating such sinfully delicious dishes on too many weekends make many Malays here a tat larger in size than the other races on this island... with higher incidences of cholesterol related diseases too.

So today, Wifey and I met up with two of my Sis and three of my brothers with their spouses at our parents' home to go together to the three places. One is fortunately a few blocks away from our parents' place, while the other two were clustered within Jurong West on 42 and 73 street.

The first two lunches were delicious. I was at my most weakest and pigged out... but everyone had to force eating themselves silly at the third place. Fortunately it was our closest relation, so we took our time to finish the food eventually.

A wedding procession announcing the couple's arrival

In Malay culture, it is considered insensitive to not eat at a wedding lunch, so we took our time eating and got to see the happy couple as well when they came back from the bride's home.

Three weddings, so we each received three sets of buah tangan or door gifts from the host when we congratulated and thanked them for the invitation. A guest would be giving a green packet containing anything from S$2.00 to S$50.00 to the host, though any amount one is willing and can afford to give is good enough.

Too much food eaten, too bloated to think further and too sleepy to write any more.

So off to bed for me and a tough workout tomorrow morning to get rid of the access baggage to start the week.


  1. I've eaten a bit too much food in the last couple of days myself. I can relate!

  2. fascinating! it all looks so beautiful!

  3. Wow, Malay weddings seem to be a fiest! ;) The only thing i recognized was Achar.

    I like the fact that the asians wedding go on for days, cuz then its not just one day of blessing, love & joy, but you spread it. And cermonies and traditions are fun, but the sad part is, many ppl dont know the reason for the rituals they are doing, they just do it.

    Hope you have a wonderful week bro.

  4. Gosh...all that food. It's making my mouth water.
    Maybe you could post a pic of yours and Wifey's wedding, if you are both in agreement. I was married in the snow...ha. Maybe I could post my wedding pic too.
    Oh, those ''wrinkle-free days''...hee hee.

  5. Hello All,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Donna | I keep telling myself not to a glutton, but I got weak... all the wonderful and sinful food. Hard to resist. I am still working out to rid the extra pound I gained.

    Andrew | It is interesting and deep in tradition a Malay wedding can me.

    As with the food spread and the celebration before and after the ceremony.

    Crashy | Yes, Malay food, especially for are greatly influenced by North Indian cuisine... adopted and fused together with Malay taste and presentation.

    It used to go on for a few days when people were leaving in the villages.

    The whole village come together to help out from preparations to serving, to cleaning-up afterwards.

    It was great fun being a child then since everyone will be so happy and the atmosphere was just joyful.

    Children got to stay up late and running around at night because the wedding place was always brightly lit.

    Nowadays, in the urban jungle of concrete flats, practicality is priority.

    Celebration is kept to 3 days at the most where people have to get back to work... everything is catered.

    From the food to the dais, photography, etc. All in one package, so no villages needed to help-out any more as people have no time to spare anymore.

    Ellen | You can say it again! Wrinkle-free days. It has been so long since I saw my wedding photos... buried somewhere in the boxes in our room.

    Yikes! Not sure if the photos have turned to dust... yes, it has been that long!

    I have to find it first before I can scan and post it... or maybe never at all.

    Wedding in the snow? That is interesting and worth the wait for your post.

    Thanks for your messages. Have a great week ahead!


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Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger