Last night I got a big dose of why I love Indonesian people. I was invited to attend the wedding of two of my musician friends, Anya (sp?) and her boyfriend the bass player. Anya has been a favorite of mine since I started jamming with the band, I nicked named her “cute as a bug’s ear” an, oh so fitting description. So when I heard of the upcoming nuptials I was happy to get the invitation.
I took Rennie, the new Aussie crew, with me and Devin gave us a ride to the event. As we approached a traffic jam of people coming and going could be scene a block away, this was going to be good. The reception took place in a field under a crudely built massive tent of bamboo and blue tarps. It covered half a football field.
We milled through the crowd and entered the tent to see a large ornately decorated gilded stage with the bride and groom sitting in the middle and each family on either side. I stopped in my tracks when I saw the bride, she was stunning. She was wearing a traditional white wedding dress and he a suit, white gloves and all. They looked like newlyweds, a bit in awe.
I surveyed the crowd of over 300 and quickly discovered we were the only farange’s in the group. I wondered how this would go? Picture a wedding in small town white America and two unknown black people show up, cause to worry, right? Not a chance, we were instantly welcomed with open arms, handshakes and those beaming Indo smiles. Anya spotted me and broke open a huge grin, not easy in the layers of traditional make-up she was wearing. I was pushed to the stage and invited to join the couple for photos. Now I do know some of the people there but Rennie did not but she was also treated like family, photos taken of her with the bridal couple and big hugs, she was moved.
We sat with some of my musician friends all warmly glad to see us. The Arak (local moonshine) was passed around and when came to me the guy offering it was told firmly that I do not drink but two of my buddies, I was impressed by their thoughtfulness. They must have really told the guy firmly as he babbled apologies, I told him no worries. The whole thing was a hoot and showed my just how much these friends care about me.
The music played and well-dressed family members danced (I was told to wear long pants and I have an Indonesian dress shirt). The line dancing started and was led by a microphone toting “caller”. I drug Rennie up to the line; she had that “deer caught in the headlights” look but joined in. We danced most dances. The ladies helped me learn the steps and we all roared with laughter. I could not have felt more at home if I had lived there all my life.
So again I have had the blessing of an insight into the Indonesian people from a perspective rarely seen by westerners. This is life at its essence; nothing shows a culture more than the rights of passage traditions and the love, unfettered open love kind of love I have learned to cherish was radiant tonight.
Sam is still in Bali and was sad to miss the wedding, I texted her “yes I cry at weddings”.