Wedding a la Locale

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Either living or just visiting, Bali never ceases to amaze us with its rich and various cultures. Some might have heard that in Bali, culture and religion have merged and being naturalized into a tradition. Some of the tradition you might have never heard about is how Balinese getting marry or what is called “Nganten”.  There are 3 marriage styles you can find in Bali:



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Memadik is a conventional tradition where the boy and his parents visit the girl’s house to respectfully and formally ask for the marriage. This is the most ideal tradition for asking the hand of marriage. However, the process might be more costly as the process requires large ceremonies and offerings.




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Ngerorod is a Balinese word that means elopement. This unique ritual is particularly appealing with touch of theatrical ritual. The boy and girl will arrange to meet somewhere out of sight and spend night together at a friend’s house stocked with offerings and the bride’s wardrobe. The girl’s parents will pretend to be outraged and will organize unsuccessful search party while the couple will consummate the marriage before the special offerings wilt. The actual public wedding will be held within 42 days of staged kidnapping.



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While Balinese have strong patriarchal culture, Nyentana is the marriage system where the boy will be the one leaving the family instead of the girl. This usually happens if the girl does not have any brother to inherit the property. The boy will automatically assume the girl’s family lineage and continue it. In the case of Nyentana, they will require the consent of the boy’s parents instead.

The morning after one of the above ritual has been executed; a priest will perform a private ceremony called “Mekala-kalaan” to legalize the marriage. Three days after the wedding, the boy’s family will visit the girl’s family to perform “Ketipat Bantal Ceremony” for the unity of both families. Thus, the marriage is considered legal in the eyes of family and God.

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