Wednesday, 20 February 2008

What a wonderful day!

The sun was out but so was the bitterly cold wind that went right through our paper thin kebayas and baju kurung as we stood outside the bride’s house waiting for the arrival of the groom and his entourage. It was a short walk but for the groom, who had just arrived from warmer climes, it must have been the longest ever, for even the best man, born and bred in London, stood shivering in his black baju Melayu.

Passengers on the red double decker peered out to look at the riot of colours outside the north London semi D and passers-by on that serene Sunday afternoon, looked on curiously as two boys carrying the bunga manggar led the entourage to the doorstep. All that was missing was the kompang beat and the berbalas pantun.

Inside, the bride sat patiently on the pelamin decorated by friends the day before. If not for the cold air that kept rushing in every time someone opened the door, one could easily think this was somewhere in Malaysia.

For the bride and groom, the event in London was a repeat performance for friends and relatives who couldn’t make it to the wedding proper in Melaka last December. Besides, a traditional Malay wedding is not something that we see everyday, so everyone got excited and wanted to be involved. I gave up the opportunity to see the famous Shahrukh Khan so that I could make myself busy the day before the kenduri. And what a wise decision that turned out to be.

With Nina the wedding planner making sure that everything runs smoothly, everyone did their bit.

Khalid, Diba and Dila ceated a simple yet beautiful pelamin, before doing the sirih junjung. Zu and Ida and Rehana, As and Mi cried their eyes oput peeling and slicing onions. Nazir and Kasubi did the tent and Tok Din did what Tok Din always does best – cook.

The bride’s mum was busy making sure that everyone else was busy.

We gave the tepak sireh and dulangs a good polish with brasso, the whiff of which transported me back to the days of kenduri galore in the kampong.

Others were busy making bunga rampai and then I decided to try a hand at henna painting. It was fun once you get the hang of it and the patterns sort of flows but the initial problem was making the henna stain brighter. Some suggested lime, while others via sms suggested minyak cap kapak. We tried all.

My creations

Nona proved to be a naturale and soon became a hit with not only the bride but the kids.

Nona's creations

Rehana did the hair, creating an Amy Winehouse bouffant before putting the tiara and the veil, while Lisa did the make up.

We ended the day with karaoke - Parents Not Allowed vs Teenagers Very Loud. You can't get more Malaysian than that, especially on a bitterly cold day!

It was a lovely day, even if it was cold. It is on days like this, when the community gets together, you do not feel so much the pangs of homesickness. And what a lovely way to welcome the groom into our close-knit community.


33 comments:

tee said...

Salam kak teh,

laaammmma nyer tak menyinggah kat sini... sure miss d event at midvalley.. maybe some other time... :)

Suria Kelang said...

Kak Teh,
I like your story. You put it as though I am there watching the event... and I really love the idea of having the kenduri in the faraway land other than the bolehland...

I wish I am there coz I don't like to be here!

a malaysian in riyadh said...

Kak Teh
Salam to Khalid. He's still work at the Embassy? Hope he still remember us. Miss his special nasi. I guess his air tangan makes it special. Can't get it here. Selamat Pengantin Baru to the couple.
aMiR

Mama Rock said...

kak teh, a good practice for you to later become a mak pengantin :)

drbubbles said...

nampak meriah betul.Patutlah familiar all the scene.I saw it earlier kat blog sdra hasmiron.

Atok said...

wah sakan kenduri. tok din masak gulai kawah ke? mana gambar pelamin?

wonda said...

Congratulations to the bride and groom.
Oh, Kak Choco, I have seen your face, heard your voice, seen your "henna" hands but not shake them yet. One day, ya !

wonda said...

Congratulations to the bride and groom.
Oh, Kak Choco, I have seen your face, heard your voice, seen your "henna" hands but not shake them yet. One day, ya !

mama irma said...

Wah Kak teh,
Boleh tahan bakat melukis henna!!!! Sapu minyak cap kapak on the skin dulu before drawing it with henna? Did the colour turn out brighter?

elviza said...

Kak Teh,

Sedapnya Kak Teh tulis... saya kalau boleh nak berguru dgn Kak Teh/AG but the flight tickets to London mahal sgt lah!

Such an effortless writing. I feel like as though I was there witnessing the whole thing.

kennymah said...

"Parents Not Allowed vs Teenagers Very Loud"?

That just cracked me right up. Except now I wonder, which group I belonged to, since I'm neither a parent yet nor a teenager any longer...

How about a third group of "Single Swinging Bachelor-boys"? Lol.

Kak Teh said...

salam tee, yes, you missed the event. Insyaallah harapnya ada lagilah buku yang boleh dihasilkan. Kak teh harap tee sehat.

suria kelang, kak teh punlama tak menjenguk blog suria - kebelakangan ni sibuk dan malas. Memang seronok kalau ada kenduri kendara di sini. events like this usually bring the community together and allowed the younger generation to learn and participate in the events and appreciate our culture.

aMiR. he is still around, of course and i must ask him about his special nasi. he is certainly a very talented one. He made the sirih junjung as well as the pelamin.

Kak Teh said...

mama rock, practise...aiyaaa...bila masa kak teh nanti kita ke surau dan restoran cukuplah! hehe!

dr bubbles - aha hasmiron tu cousin pengantin perempuan. Cari juga blog dia tapi dapat yang lain.

atok - aha - memang masak gulai kawah yang sesungguhnya sedap pada hari yang sejuk!

Kak Teh said...

wonda - maybe i will make a trip to japan, ya? will need to get some inheritance before i can do that - or win a competition, perhaps? Or, another possibility is for you to come over to london.

mama irma, you are back!!! about the minyak cap kapak - entahlah . kak teh belajar tak habis - i dontknow whether it shd be added to it, or sapu over the deco. Must belajar lagi.

elviza, thank you my dear. You are not doing too badly yourself.

Kak Teh said...

kennymah, hahaha! funny that you shd mention the in between because we had one who was singing for both sides. He is neither a teenager nor a parent. But we had such a wonderful time and suffered for it later.

Ailin in Aalborg said...

hmm.... I know where to go next time I want my hands henna-ed

Kak Teh said...

ailin, for you more than hands will be henna'ed! ! welcome, welcome!

Ordinary Superhero said...

Wahh, cantiknya inai.

Pak Tuo said...

hmmm..Kak Teh,

Putri Bersiram!! Nice.

Kak Teh said...

OSH, cantik kan? Kak teh pun taktau yang kak teh pulak buat gitu.
...ish macam masuk bakul angkat sendiri pulak!

Pak Tuo, puteri bersiram? kat mana? anyway, nice to see you here.

Pak Tuo said...

Kat tepi kolam Kak Teh...

he..he..

elisataufik said...

Teringat when I went to a friend's wedding in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was freezing february, there was still snow on the roadsides and there we were in our malay regalia with bunga manggar and kompang walking down the street to the 'rumah pengantin'. Sejuk, tapi seronok!
Congratulations to the bride&groom.
and the mehendi all are so cantik!! I wish I could draw like that. all I can draw were smiley faces, butterflies and skulls and bones (untuk budak2).

p/s Love your new look! very the chocolaty one!

Kak Teh said...

pak tu..hehe - kat tepi kolam pulak!

elisa, yes, its nice isnt it - what we take for granted back home, we celebrate wholeheartedly here. whatever the weather.

Oh, so it is called mehendi!! Thanks for that piece of info!

MamiJarum said...

Wah Kak Teh! This is fantastic!!! Right in London, a traditional Malay wedding, how exciting!! Wish I was there with everyone to gotong royong, kepoh-kepoh hee hee!!! Congratulation to the couple!!!

Kak Teh said...

mami jarum, memangpun seronok, kalau u ada lagi bertambah meriah makcik-makcik kepo! Hope to meet up with ypu soon - and see the little munchkin!

Bebee said...

Hi Kak Teh,
Not sure if u remember me from the GUiT Reading at Bangsar...anyway. So that's what you've been up to... perfecting the newly built masjid, looking up Shakespeare and making your blogspot look more chocky and delicious! I've been away on duty travel (to your part of the globe too, brrr!) and internetless nights, so now catching up on my blog trips...Really love your chockalicious new look...congrats!

Nazrah said...

love the new layout. Very fresh!

***

agaknya kat dubai ni ada tak kenduri kawin macam kat london ek?

kakteeeeeehhhh, kita nak makan sate, mai la buatkan...

mwah mwah!

Has said...

Kak Teh,

Ni musim orang tukar template blog ker, cantik!

D said...

celebrations away from home are often more exciting, aren't they?

D.N.A.S said...

Baguslah Kak Teh..... dah practice nak jadi mak pengantin ni....

kina said...

wah wah wahhh

memula i thot it was your son's wedding...

amboi amboi amboi cantik henna tu kak teh, cerita pasal wedding ni, macam terbau je the bunga rampai tu...

Kak Teh said...

beebee , of course I remember you. Thanks for the visit and am glad you like my new chocolatey look. It was done in moments of weakness and I surrendered to the first chocolatey template I found.

nazrah, next trip home will surely singgah dubai to make satay for you - not that I have done satay at all but if there is going to be a first, satay in Dubai will be good. Satay unta?

has, I guess it must be spring - am trying to change things. Just got my new net curtains up.

Kak Teh said...

d, i love all these celebrations away from home - we can afford to kepo-kepo all we want. We've had several weddings already - complete with joget lambak lagi.

dnas, aduh, practise jadi mak mengantin? Nantilaaaa, kak teh masih in denial.

kina, the bunga rampai was beautiful, especially as we sprinkled some wangi-wangian that I got as present from one blogreader!