Wow, I cannot believe the 2008 holiday season is already over. Farewell 2008, welcome 2009! This year, so many of my friends are getting married. It's going to be a truly blessed year I think. Or maybe I am already at that age where many of my friends who are in a relationship for a while feel ready to take the relationship further... Who knows?
Anyway, sorry I've been away from this blog for so long! I spent the majority part of the holiday (3 weeks!) in Indonesia, visiting my parents and also obeying the engagement customs in my Chinese/Indonesian culture. Even though my fiance already proposed to me on my birthday last July, our custom is to have the guy's parents and family visit the girl's parents to officially ask the permission to wed from the girl's family. A representative of the guy's family will say, "Ms. B's Dad, we have come today to officially and formally request the honor of Ms. B's hand in marriage to our son.... ". Then my dad, or a representative, would say make his speech of how the daughter is very prescious, and therefore he expects the suitor to really love, honor, and take care of the daughter forever. Aww... :) I have to say that I got teary-eyed at this point as my dad's speech was very touching and personal...
Anyway, the guy's family usually come bearing jewelry for the girl, and the guy's mom will put on the necklace on the girl once the family has given their permission for the couple to get married. From that point onwards, the girl (me) shall call the guy's parents "mom" and "dad", and vice verca for the guy. It's now official that we are engaged according to our culture.
The second part of this engagement is usually done a few weeks before the wedding, but since we will be having our wedding here in LA, we decided to do the traditions altogether to keep things simple. This second part is called "Sanjit". This is when the guy's family come to the girl's home bearing numerous gifts. The gifts are put on trays or boxes, and the number of trays are usually an even number (good number) like 8, 10, or 12. The gifts consist of clothes, perfume, jelwelry, cosmetics, watch, bags, shoes, and also food. My sister said that this tradition is usually asked by the girl's family to make sure that the guy's family will be able to provide the basic needs of the girl once they get married. Nowadays, this custom is mainly used to show off your wealth and to indulge in expensive gifts :) Anyway, the girl's family also need to provide gifts for the guy too.. same kind of things like shoes, aftershave, dress-shirt, tie, jacket, food etc etc. The newly joined family will also both provide sweets and cookies to give to their neighbor and distant families to officially "announce" the engagement after the sanjit ceremony is done.
I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE traditions... it's not that I'm superstitious, but I just love knowing the reasoning behind these traditions, and I think it's important to keep these traditions alive.
For those of you wondering, here are some pictures of my engagement :)