(THE CULTURE AND CUSTOM OF THE MALAY COMMUNITY: THE CUSTOM OF SEEKING THE WOMAN HAND IN MARRIAGE AND THE CUSTOM OF GETTING ENGAGED)
The customs of seeking the woman hand in marriage and getting engaged are conducted before a marriage solemnisation is held. The purposes of these customs are to seek a woman hand in marriage to be officially the wife of someone, and to signify the beginning of a family tie being developed. Both these customs are managed by the parents of the man and the woman with the help of close relatives.
The seeking of the hand in marriage ceremony begins with oneself indulging in the cuisine of traditional cakes and drinks. The intention of the visit is conveyed by the man side indirectly through metaphorical words and figurative speeches. Normally the woman family does not respond immediately to give space for a discussion with the woman and to obtain her agreement.
For the custom of getting engaged the man family visits the residence of the womanfamily for the official engagement. Usually the event starts with normal conversation with the climax of announcing the engagement by placing the engagement rings on the fingers of both the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be.
In the engagement ceremony normally the manside brings along a piece of batik cloth, betel leaves, sweets and cakes. These materials are arranged artistically on five holders to be reciprocated with the same amount of holders by the woman side. The climax of this ceremony is the placing of the engagement ring on the would-be bride ring finger by the man mother, while the woman father does the same to the would-be groom.