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Jan 13, 2013

Persandigan in Singapore - Then and Now

In the above archived photo with courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS), shows relatives of wedding couple help to prepare food for guests in 1930.  Other archived photos (black and white) are posted on this blog with thanks and acknowledgement to NAS.

In the photos below shows relatives of wedding couple in the heartlands in Singapore help to prepare food for guest on 13 January, 2013.

This friendly 'makcik' in this photo told me that the ways done in the past in Singapore to prepare the food for the guests during 'persandigan' may have changed over the decades, she assured me that the 'secret recipe' for the traditional dishes are as delicious and tasty and as good as ever.  She is right!

Here's a video "Gotong Royong masak nasi minyak persandingan Azreen & Azlina "  on YouTube with thanks and acknowledgement to Kamaluddin Idrus.  We share the video to see how the 'persandigan' for cooking in the kampong was done this way in the past.

This blog topic on "Persandigan in Singapore - Then and Now" is not all about food.

I attended the 'persandigan' of my neighbour Inche Mohammad Nor whose son, Mohammad Bashey and his new bride Syaza held the 'persandigan' ('wedding ceremony' translated in English) at the void deck of  Block 124, Simei Street 1, Singapore.

Inche Mohammad Nor and his wife

Preparations for the 'persandigan'

Early in the morning, Muhammad Bashey was checking out the arrangements for the decorations, programs and other stuff for his "Big Day" for his wedding.  Isn't he cool?

Muhammad Bashey
He is very happy and appreciative for the help of so many friends, relatives and everyone to set up everything as planned and scheduled.

 The Malay marriage is a regal affair. The bride and groom are treated as king and queen for a day.  This photo shows their throne, majestically designed  for the ceremony.

Arrival of Guests

Instant 'Polaroid' photos of the guests are taken and placed with the congratulatory messages are placed in the 'Guest Book' for fond memories of generations to remember in the modern way in Singapore.  This was never possible done in the past before camera hi-tech 'thingy' was available.

 The Wedding

The wedding was held at 2.30 pm when a charted bus arrived with the bride and bridegroom together with their entourage of  the hand-held kompang drummers to the banquet hall.

When they arrived, the bride and bridegroom were invited for the bersanding ceremony.

The hari langsung, literally “the day of completion” , which also involves the bersanding or ceremonial seating on the dias, is considered the high point of a Malay wedding.

In the past...

A couple at the 'persandingan' in Singapore in 1930s
A couple at the 'persandingan' in Singapore in 1950s

Muslim marriage and Islamic wedding customs are traditions and practices that relate to wedding ceremonies and marriage rituals. These rites belong to communities of people who have Islam as their faith.

A few guests, friends and relatives greeted with a "silat pulut" performance (the Malay art of self-defense) to pay respect and well-wishes to the bride and bridegroom as a sign of blessing.

And all the time during the wedding day, the merriment of the day continues unabated. The guests and well-wishers, while feasting the special food and dishes, are treated by a live music band from the 'A's Entertainment', a professional event management company.

In the 1950s in Singapore ...

One of the most important concepts in Malay wedding is "the more the merrier". Every relative,  neighbours, acquaintance, colleague or business partner could be invited to a wedding.

The families are truly honored by your attendance at a wedding, especially if you are a non-Muslim, your presence at the 'persandigan' show the multi-racial, multi-religious spirit of  'Unity in Diversity' in Singapore.

Firstly,  Muhammad Bashey and Syaza to pay respect and express filial piety to their parents who were seated on the throne.

 Family, relatives and friends file by to pay respects and offer congratulations  for photographs with the newly-wed.


Congratulations and best wishes to Muhammad Bashey and Syaza on the blessed occasion of  their wedding.

Related post contributed by my blogger friend Yeo Hong Eng to share us here . Thank you, Hong Eng



Blogger dashing hongeng said...

I have just posted Persandingan in the 1950s in the kampong a few days ago. One can compare and contrast the decor, the entertainments, the clothings worn by the wedding couples and guests, the multi-racial guests and the procession with those in the present days.
'Malay wedding in the 50s.'

January 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger mmas112 said...

Well done James ! You have contributed greatly to an invaluable and immense insight and understanding of the Malay wedding and bersanding activity that we frequently see at void decks and other venues.

January 19, 2013 at 2:06 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you for your nice comments, Inche Masramli.

Since my childhood days at Bukit Ho Swee kampong where several Malay and Indian friends lived, it was not a Singapore Chinese enclave or a segregated community.

I have many Singapore Malay friends who grew up with me for decades to play, to work and to study together in Singapore without discrimination of race or religion in Singapore.

I learn something more from the culture of Persandigan in Singapore and to share on this blog.

January 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM  

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