FOR THE PAST few days, Partner and I are discussing wedding traditions. I’m Bruneian he’s Malaysian. We’ve found out that really Brunei and Malaysian traditions are very much different. I first noticed this at a cousin’s wedding ceremony which was really a packed thing – both engagement and ‘nikah’ at the same time. During her nikah, there was a mix-up of traditions and I noticed that some confused relatives from his side were miffed and some just chuckled it away.

I guess in Malay tradition, protocol is an issue. What more when there are two different kinds of protocol. They are – Your Family Protocol and His Family Protocol. Balancing these two is really not so much work as long as both sides have already practised a good amount of compromise with each other.

So I did some research. The ‘exchange of gifts’ ceremony is a big thing in Malay culture.  While there are Malaysian traditions for exchanging seven or nine dulangs/hantarans (gifts)  or the ‘wang hantaran’ or money gift amounting to a strict RM$9999 in one state, Bruneian traditions are really about beauty, art and practicality – what gifts will be of good use for years to come. There is no strict number – just as long as the number of gifts must be an odd number.

Eventhough culture demands it, there are gifts which really do not apply today. Take for instance, the ‘sirih junjung’ ( a gift of betel leaves – used to please the elders who in the old days loved chewing these things. They didn’t have Juicyfruit back then). I’ve told Mum to please never ask this for my wedding. I think its wasteful, I read somewhere that its carcinogenic and I don’t even chew it and neither do my parents. I don’t care how tall it is and how many roses look lovely with it, if it’s impractical and a waste, its going to be pretty ugly in my books.

I’ve seen pretty beautiful hantarans lately as well as pretty funny ones too. An uncle of mine married this woman who loved baking. So go figure. Along with the usual gifts of songkok and songket, there were five cakes, all miraculously prepared single-handedly by this woman who was supposed to be busy with everything else before her wedding. Talk about love.

I’m still researching on this. Yet deep down I already know, exchanging gifts is more than just trays and displaying beautiful pretty things. It’s more of a symbolism that relationships and marriages are really about the concept of ‘give and take’, a balance where the two people will have to work on all the time for the rest of their lives.

On that note, I’d give a Bell & Ross watch and I’d take something from Chanel! Hahahaha!

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Bling me the bling

hepburn.jpg Welcome to all things pretty. Its really a blog about all my girly wants and desires, things that I’ve loved for a long time yet haven’t had the chance to score.

I’ve just walked out of a meeting and my playful colleague has just asked me why I don’t wear any jewellery. He’s into Cartier. So am I actually but I don’t really want to tell him that. I tell him I don’t know why. I admire gorgeous luxury jewellery even the gaudy-ish kind but I just don’t want to end up looking like someone’s mistress. Yet I can’t stand tiny frail jewellery which look like they could just break anytime.

So here I am a hunting.

My classic jewellery favourites include Tiffany & Co. and Mikimoto. I am soo so sooo in love with the pearls of Mikimoto. I swear if I could be a jewellery maker it would be really about pearls. As Audrey was admiring the jewellery in the window at Tiffany’s, all of us were really admiring her in her black dress and of course, the look would have been really boring if it weren’t for those classic pearls.

I think my fire for jewellery just went up lately when I helped a guy friend pick out a ring to propose to his girlfriend. I’m not really an expert but I do know that everyone has different tastes. He ended up buying her a ring of his choice, more of a classic one stone, and even though our other girlfriends had advised him not to, he went with my wisdom to buy a steady, sturdy and solid ring. 

I love those classic solid rings like the Lucida ones from Tiffany’s. I mean, you can have a huge ring but it might make your hand look just completely ugly especially if you have tiny fingers.

I guess you can judge a woman and her relationship by her ring. And this is why finding the right ring is very important because it tells your character. This symbol is what you will wear for the rest of your life and thats why its not an easy task to go find your perfect one.

As much as Audrey loved staring into Tiffany’s, I suppose my staring is much done towards the French house Chanel with the stunning designs in the Elements De Chanel collection. I am going into comatose if I keep staring any longer.

Ahhhh. Tonight I will dream of being a jeweller or maybe perhaps, enrol in a jewellery making course.

South Africa here I come!!!

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