Friday, November 28, 2008
Wedding Up North
For having written the past 7 posts without any images at all, I am going to compose this one with photos, and as little words as possible (I hope). Last weekend, I went up north to attend the wedding of a good friend and since I wasn't part of the ji muis, I sort of had the freedom to squeeze myself in-between the crowds to snap photos.
The guys at the hotel, before departing to the bride's house. There were 8 heng tais, including the bestman, and if I am not mistaken, they outnumbered the girls. However, being the most sporting and gentlemanly troop that I'd ever seen, they didn't bully the girls in any ways.
We arrived at the bride's home a little earlier than expected.
The professional photographers were busy snapping away, not realising that a little kepoh here got a shot of them at work.
"You're too early. The bride is not ready yet..."
"Fine. Fine. We'll wait."
5 minutes later, they were still waiting. 10 minutes later, they were stilllll waiting.
"Come brothers, let's just go. We'll go and have a second breakfast."
"Wait! We're ready now..."
The "tasks" provided by the girls were by no means hard, nor demeaning, nor humiliating, nor involving pain / horror. The groom had only to answer a series of questions, and his supporters eat some disgusting stuff.
"Question 1: What is the date that you first dated your bride?"
"Yikes..... think, think, think!"
Luckily he got that one.
Conventionally, the girls will prepare food items comprising of the 4 basic tastes - sweet, sour, bitter, hot - to represent the ups and downs in life that the married couple will face, and overcome together. So the first food items were these slices of raw bitter gourd.
The girls said the groom's men could share out the lot, but one of the guys stepped forward, "There is no need. I shall eat all of it!"
And he did. Very quickly. In fact, he was so quick to gobble down those raw bitter gourd slices that I only manage to take this one shot of him doing it. This was the precise moment I realise that this ragging session was going to proceed at high speed.
"Question 2: Where did you bring your bride for your first date?"
I forgot what the answer was, but the groom got it right again. And this time, the guys had to drink the little glass of rice vinegar. Again, the girls said they could share, but again, 1 fella insisted he would gulp it down all by himself.
And he did! And if you look at this shot carefully, you would see that the bitter-gourd guy was still chewing. This is a good indicator of how fast the ragging session was progressing.
"Question 3: When was your registration of marriage?"
The groom remembered the date and month very well, but almost stumbled on the year, because it was a year or two back. Almost. Pheeewww.
I dont' know what they put inside those mini sandwiches, but it was something sweet.
Then, it was time for the groom to sing a pre-agreed song.
He actually prepared the lyrics and also accompaniment in form of mp3 in his phone! Smart fella!
The final task: perform 50 push-ups. There were all in all 9 of them, so basically, each one would only need to do 5-6 times. Nothing could be easier, really. Surprisingly though, no one stepped forward to volunteer to do it all by himself, so the guys went down 2 or 3 at a time.
The girls kept count so they couldn't cheat. But who would cheat when asked to do only 5 push-ups each? I wouldn't cheat if I had to do 10 or even 20. If 30, then I would perhaps cheat a bit...
At the 40th push-up, the groom stepped up and told everyone to stand back. He declared that he would do the last 10 himself! The whole hall rang with cheers.
1, 2, 3, ... 9, 10!!!
The final "snack": mini sandwiches with wasabi in them.
The girls got their ang pau and ...
*count count count*
"Not enough wor..."
"It's the only 1 I have!"
"Errr... give a bit more la. Make the total a nice figure."
"I don't have anymore ang pau la. Seriously."
"Arh? OK lar... we accept. You can go in now!"
Like that also can. First time I saw such nice ji muis.
Woo hoooo! I got my wife! Thanks, buddies... let's take a group photo.
The wedding dinner was held in a chinese restaurant on the same day. I almost squealed with delight when I saw the wedding favour:
A cupcake! A very elegantly-wrapped cupcake!
Lovely, and very, very tasty!
The stage decorations were simple but beautiful.
The evening began with the marching in of the newly-weds and their parents and some important relatives. The bride's father is a somewhat VIP in the area, and some Orang Besar actually attended the dinner.
The Orang Besar and his wife were invited to sing a song for the newly-weds, and they actually sang in Chinese! I was so impressed! Although there were relatives of the bride who "entertained" the crowd with their singing, none was exceptionally awful, so I'm not going to be sarcastic about it here.
There was also a dance presentation. Extremely extraordinary, I must say, and very interesting.
The first dish - a combination of stuff, including that huge lobster. I am not particulary well-versed in describing food, so feel free to just feast your eyes on this and all the following photos.
A chicken which had probably been cooked since that morning, or afternoon, in that pot of soup along with chinese herbs. Extremely good!
Braised duck. I know you can't really see that it's duck, but it was.
Steamed fish in ginger sauce.
The 7-colour something something vegetarian dish. This one was the most extraordinary of the evening - extremely light and refreshing.
The huge prawns. To emphasize on how huge they really were:
That's a regular-sized soup spoon.
Glutinous rice wrapped in some sort of leaves. In the center were spicy dried shrimp sambal-like stuff. Well, I did admit I am no expert in food-describing.
Dessert was chilled longan with small pieces of jelly. Nothing special, but a nice, sweet end to a scrumptious dinner. While dinner was on-going, they also had the usual line-up for the newly weds.
That included the champagne popping and pouring, the toasting, and the cake-cutting ceremony.
The wedding cake was a REAL 3-tier cake. A REAL one! I don't think I'd ever seen a real wedding cake at any wedding dinner before. It looked so good!
At the end of the wedding, I couldn't stop myself from taking a closer look.
It was indeed REAL!
What a lovely wedding for a lovely couple. This dinner was hosted by the bride's family, and we'll be attending the one hosted by the groom's family this coming weekend. Why attend so many? Because getting married is once in a lifetime (usually), and 20+ years childhood friends are extremely rare :)