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  • Twelve Gifts for Wedding question

    Hello everyone, I am curious. My wife informed me that I have to present her with "twelve gifts" as part of the wedding service. I have done some research and I am curious if this is true or just her trying to show off the wealth of her new husband. The gifts are to include, underwear, cosmetics, a full set of jewelry, fruit, money, prayer mats, a prayer dress, shoes, a bag, and some other stuff that I can not remember. Anyone care to weigh in please? Thank you.

  • #2
    Full set of jewelry??that's bullocks.

    Usually the gifts were to show that the groom can financially support the bride. Those gifts nowadays are not essential and usually couples would save and buy them together.

    The normal ones are: prayer things, fruit, food (cake or stuff), underwear.

    Those are not crucial anymore to be honest with you. What kind of traditional wedding are you going to have? what tribe is your bride-to-be from?

    Note: I'm a local Javanese and I waived all those traditional stuff that includes three days of party (because I'm the last born of the family). We only had the wedding ceremony at the church and a very simple and intimate reception with our friends and church members.
    [COLOR=black]
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    • #3
      I thought the husband came with a full set of "family jewels"!?!
      Things happen for a reason...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Meatloafman View Post
        Hello everyone, I am curious. My wife informed me that I have to present her with "twelve gifts" as part of the wedding service. I have done some research and I am curious if this is true or just her trying to show off the wealth of her new husband. The gifts are to include, underwear, cosmetics, a full set of jewelry, fruit, money, prayer mats, a prayer dress, shoes, a bag, and some other stuff that I can not remember. Anyone care to weigh in please? Thank you.
        True, but the gifts do not have to be excessively expensive. I was at a local wedding of a very financially modest couple (I'm guessing their combined income is less than 15 million per month) and they had the gifts presented to the wife's family prior to the wedding. But many couples no longer bother, so it is really up to you.

        A quaint custom, not an obligation.

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        • #5
          I was informed that it was an obligation and the gold earrings, bracelet, and necklace had to be 22k gold because Indonesia doesn't sell 12 or 18k gold.

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          • #6
            NO! there's no such obligation of providing such gold.Not normally, but maybe in her family, but definitely not as far as I know it.
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            • #7
              We did a mixed wedding half western half Indonesian, but we did do the gift parcel. Didn't have 12 items, but did have a set of gold earrings, bracelet and necklace as well as prayer mat, underwear and a few other things. The odd thing is the official from the KUA office doing the actual wedding ceremony noted into the official paperwork the total weight of the gold and the approximate value of the total parcel as well as announcing it to those in attendance. To me it seemed in very poor taste and left the feeling that the family was selling their daughter off for the price of the gold (even thought she kept the gold not her parents), but I was assured it was the proper customary thing to do.

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              • #8
                Mrs Bagindo believes your wife is referring to "Hantaran Nikah", and that there is no set requirement for what the gifts are.
                Sometimes I feel I must be lexdysic.

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                • #9
                  Its a very common tradition for gifts to be presented or rather exchanged as part of the engagement and wedding events. The number of gift boxes is not fixed by the tradition; 12 seems to be excessive, 7 is more common and the gifts offered in return to the groom's family as they depart the engagement event, is usually a few less that brought. If the groom's family brings 7, the brides family might return 5. Of course, these events are staged as ostentatious displays of wealth and status, so the more, the bigger, the more obviously expensive, the better.

                  The gifts at the wedding are not generally the focus of the event, at least less so than at the engagement. At the wedding, its a one-sided deal with the worth placed on the bride measured by the number and quality of gifts brought by the groom. The most important item being the amount of gold the groom brings to the table, literally. This is often announced with great fanfair. The exchange (ie the value of the groom to the bride) is roughly measured by the quality, amount and variety of the food offered wedding guests, as well as the number and prominence of guests invited and attending.

                  To my Western sensibilities, its all quite crass and excessive. I think it is not uncommon for couples and their families to enmass huge debts to stage an elaborate event. The resulting impoverishment leads to later money problems equating to unhappy and short marriages.

                  Enjoy your wedding. I lived through it and am still happily married. So can you, but it takes some effort to keep things in perspective.

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                  • #10
                    no 18ct gold in Indonesia? ....... lol
                    The answer is 42 .... any questions? .

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                    • #11
                      Earnestly penned by my wife (hope it helps). Feel free to comment - I am not easily offended.
                      [SIZE=4][SIZE=4]Now there are two things here:[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]- Dowry (Mas Kawin)[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]- Gifts (Serah-serahan)[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]
                      [/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]The dowry usually is the most valuable thing, it could be jewelry or money, or both. Unlike dowry in ancient western society where dowry is supposed to be amounts paid to the bride's family to "marry off" the bride and make the bride be the husband's possession, dowry here is a groom's wedding gift for his bride. She will keep it for herself, her family has no right over it and her husband has no right over it. If ever they have a divorce, the wife keeps all the mas kawin for herself.[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]The officer from KUA mentions this in the marriage rites, so that it is clear to all present what is the dowry so that in the future there should not be a dispute over it….[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]What happens if the husband to be is so poor that he could not even provide a worldly expensive dowry to his bride, then he can give something even more expensive than any worldly gifts…he can give her a holy Qur'an and her most important attire - prayer dress. Why it is more expensive than jewelry or money? Because if she use them properly, it will bring her to heaven, a pass entry that no amount of money or gold can buy! ^_^[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]
                      [/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]Better yet, a husband can recite a prayer from the holy Qur'an as his dowry for his bride, and that will worth more than any gold or money too……… as reminder, if ever they have a divorce, the good prayer will still be hers forever and after… all her life and after![/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]
                      [/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]Serah-serahan is the attestation of the husband's ability and willingness to provide for his soon to be wife.[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=4]The officer from KUA does not mention this in the marriage rites.[/SIZE]

                      [/SIZE]

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                      • #12
                        This topic has produced a spate of "works" from my wife who usually stays out of "affrays" of this nature

                        Take from it what you will. She says it was written with a light-hearted touch.

                        When the bride reciprocally provides gifts to husband to be, it is to symbolize her ability and willingness to provide for her husband to be by cooking the meal for him.
                        So the gifts are usually foods that she will cook for him after they get married. It's like giving a test-food ^_^ to him and his family.
                        It is a complete gifts of entire meal from appetizer to dessert… to show that she will provide for his tummy and his family (read: mother) should not worry about his well being after he goes under the new management … LOL!

                        The number of gifts are always less than what the husband is to provide, again this symbolizes that the husband is the main caretaker of the new family while the wife will support him without taking over his responsibility.

                        Indonesian wedding is full of things to symbolize values of the old days…. too bad some of these symbols seemed to lose meaning due to greediness or the act of showing off!

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                        • #13
                          How interesting, tell her thank you.

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                          • #14
                            Mrs. Johntap got it right.

                            A little additional note, if you really want to give some worldly expensive dowry but you cant afford it right now, but lets say you will about a year, you can always put it in debt. This of course will change how the usual ceremonial pronunciation into : “....... dengan mas kawin, 500 gram emas dibayar HUTANG”.

                            I kid you not.
                            Words can inspire, thoughts can provoke, but only action can get you closer to your dreams.

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                            • #15
                              Hi,

                              I myself merried an indonesian woman 6 years before. She is from sundanese ethny, and the traditionnal "number" of gift was 7. I hear that 12 is traditionnal for exemple in javanese ethny.
                              This is absolutle not bad, I have liked it, was nice to find gifts to feel these boxes. For me, I have enjoy it as a part of the tradition (boxes are presented to the family in law and accepted)
                              Maybe you are "scared" by the meaning of "man is buying a woman", but let me say that it teaches you a lot about your future wife and teach her a lot about you, like what value and what price you put in it, what color you choose, what style ...
                              7 were : of course the prayer set (Quran, mukena, sajada, dzikr), party set (dress, shoes, bag, as you want), make up set, bathroom set, lingerie set, and don't remember the others or maybe put 2 in 1 in this list
                              These gifts were dressed in beautiful traditionnal boxes (like the candies for guest and traditionnal games, and the gold)
                              This is nice, choosing dress or lingerie for exemple will tell a lot to your wife (and not only for the price you pay), like style, color, matching or not ...

                              And of course there is the gold (mas kawin) This one is purely religious (Islam) and cannot be avoided. KUA will need a "price" money or gold you give her.
                              But that's true that a single iron ring can also be enough, or of course what you know of Al-Quran (this is based on the islamic tradition and law)
                              But you cannot take a loan for this. If indonesia accept it, that's weird (the hutang) and personnaly I will avoid a future wife as a muslim asking for money to be from a loan.

                              Believe me, a traditionnal indonesian wedding is beautiful, if you want to marry an indonesian, you must be able to accept the traditions as it's part of her.
                              That's not the "castle" type of wedding, but kebaya², traditionnal songs, traditionnal games are nice.

                              Yes, if you get the boxes, maybe you will have "games" like eating ayam and nasi kuning together with your wife and parents in law, that's good.

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