Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baju Kurung : A Traditional Malaysian Wedding Dress

A Malay wedding is a very regal affair. It is divided into two parts: the akad nikah, which is the marriage contract, and the family celebration, which is called the bersanding or the enthronement ceremony. The bride and groom sit like king and queen, dressed in richly decorated attire, feeding each other yellow rice with their hands decorated with henna while their guests join them in celebrating their happy day.

The groom wears the traditional Malay costume of Baju Melayu, which translates as "Malay shirt" and consists of a long-sleeved shirt and trousers. He wears head wear known as tanjak; it is commonly made from a type of woven silk fabric. He also wears a dagger known as a keris, which is indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. As he walks with family members to the home of his bride, it is common for the best man to shade him with a gold-colored umbrella accompanied by palm blossom carriers. 
The bride, who stands outside her home to wait for her husband-to-be, wears an embroidered Baju Kurung, the traditional Malay dress for women. This dress, which is a long-sleeved blouse over a matching sarong, often is well-coordinated with her husband's outfit. The modern version of this dress is the baju kebaya. She also wears a tudung, which is a hijab or headscarf to cover her hair and a selendang, or embroidered and beaded shawl over the tudung. A crown placed on top of the shawl signifies her importance for the day. With flower girls behind her, she walks from her house to meet the groom a few yards from her home. [source : Malaysian Wedding Dresses]