updated 24 Dec 2010, 08:50
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Mon, Dec 20, 2010
New Straits Times
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Some follow the traditions

NEWLY MARRIED A. Gayathri, 27, kept to every bit of the Ceylonese wedding rituals when she tied the knot last week to C. Siva Prakash.

A few days before the big day, a gold-melting ceremony was held at the groom's house. Families from both sides gave their blessings when the groom approached them with a pot of melted gold, which was later made into a pendant to be attached to the thali or wedding chain.

Another highlight was the milk-bathing ritual held a day before the wedding, where the bride's relatives applied milk on her head as a symbolic cleansing gesture.

The wedding ceremony, which saw the couple observing every rite, including prayers, saree changing, thali tying and food feeding, was witnessed by more than 2,000 guests.
"My wedding was 100 per cent traditional. Most would find it a hassle, time consuming and costly but it's all worth it," said Gayathri.

When Alvin Cheng and Coco, both 27, got married this year, they decided to adhere to important wedding customs like abiding by the auspicious timing, hiring a wedding chaperone and holding the goh dai lai or betrothal ceremony.

Even the orthodox bridal set, which included a pair of red lamps, a wash basin with face towels, new slippers and a urinal pot, was amassed as keepsakes.
Observing such traditions was important to Cheng.

"Taking the wedding vow and putting our signatures on the paper during the registration feels a lot like going through a loan procedure in the bank."
In the case of L.Y. Tan, 33, he had to bow to parental pressure and observe all the Chinese Hokkien wedding traditions because he was the eldest son in the family and the first to get married.

"I wasn't too keen because I had planned for a simple registration, followed by a wedding luncheon."
He had registered his marriage a few months earlier.

"After the registration, I thought of myself as being officially married but my mother insisted on the tea ceremony and a big wedding banquet -- complete with shark's fin soup and all the auspiciously named dishes," he said with a laugh.

Investment analyst Navina Balasanger is another young adult who would rather keep the traditions to a minimum but knew that her parents would insist on having a full-scale ceremony.

"It's a hassle and a waste of money. But if my parents insist, I'll abide by their wishes."

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