A Dictionary for Learning Different Cultures the Fun Way

Wedding Ceremonies around the world

Translated by Makiko Nakano-san, with a help of C.M-san

People go through various types of events in their lives: "marriage" is one of the most important among them. One person, who has been following his or her own, particular path, meets someone who has been travelling a different path, and they decide to start walking along the same path together. Marriage is a turning point in a person's life, and it is therefore considered an important event in many cultures.

There are a number of different styles of weddings around the world. In Sweden, for example, more and more people are choosing common law marriage, that is marriage without legal recognition, over official, registered marriage. This is because the disadvantage of being single is no longer as great as it was.

The various types of wedding ceremonies around the world may offer some clues to the meaning marriage has for people.

This webpage always welcomes your information and opinions.

Wedding Ceremonies in Malaysia1

We received the following information about a wedding ceremony in Malaysia from Hosoe Masamori-san.

As a result of my work, I have many friends in Malaysia. I was once invited to a wedding ceremony by one of them, and I would like to describe it.

In Malaysia, people have two wedding ceremonies. The first one is held at the bride's house, the second one at the groom's house.

First, both bride and groom put on their wedding clothes at their own homes, then they meet at the home of one of the bride's relatives, together with their families, relatives and friends. Then the whole party sets off towards the bride's house. At the head of the procession will be some musicians playing instruments, including the "Kompan" which is like a big tambourine. After them come the bride and groom, and then all the relatives. Malaysian families tend to be quite large, so the procession can become pretty long.

Once the procession reaches the bride's house the couple will sit on chairs in the garden. A man will then dance before them, a performance similar in some ways to the Chinese Tai Chi Chuan. I don't know much about this performance, but I guess it is similar to the "oharai" performance in Japan, the ceremony to cast out bad spirits.

After this performance, people go inside the house and the bride and groom sit on nice chairs like Puramin. The guests go up to them one by one and sprinkle some type of seeds onto the couple's hands (I am not sure what type of seeds they are). In return, the guests receive an egg from the couple (representing the people's wish that they be blessed with a baby).

Then everyone eats outdoors. A wide range of dishes are spread out on tables. Unfortunately they were too hot for me to eat. The meal is over quite quickly, in about twenty minutes, and there are no elaborate performances as at a Japanese wedding reception. The whole ceremony is quite simple and takes about two hours, but it is a an enjoyable experience.

I would love to go back to Malaysia again some time.

We, the staff of Multiculturalpedia, appreciate Masanori-san's cooperation in contributing to this webpage.

Wedding Ceremonies in Philippines1

We received the following information about a wedding ceremony in Philippines from ann-san.

In my country the Philippines, after the ceremony in the church, usually the party will be held in the brides house and we dont need invatation letters. Neighbors "must" come to the party. The party will start in the dance of the bride and groom with the local band using only guitars everyone would sing and people would pin the bride's gown with money while they dance.The party would go on over night with dancing and singing. One thing brides wont do before the wedding ceremony is to fit their wedding gown. It was said long before our anciestors that once you wear your wedding gown before the wedding ceremony, something will stop your wedding and you could never ever marry again.

We, the staff of Multiculturalpedia, appreciate ann-san's cooperation in contributing to this webpage.


Your thoughts and comments to us are always welcome and appreciated. We will introduce your information on our Multiculturalpedia site. Thank you.