indonesia travel magazine

West Java, Sunda Adat Dress

West Java, Sunda Adat Dress


The main part of this wedding rite is conducting an akad nikah (marriage contract) due to Islamic marriage law. It’s also called as walimah. Before an amil (a religious official), a wali (the bride’s male relative legally responsible for her), and some witnesses, the couple were married. Around this sacred moment there were some cultural happenings: singers on a stage in front of my sister’s house sang Sundanese songs in kliningan music, visitors kept coming till the evening, and cooks at the dapur (kitchen) were terribly busy.

The so called upacara adat Sunda (traditional Sundanese wedding ceremony) is in fact a somewhat new invention. Some notable cultural figures, such as Uton Muchtar, Ki Umbara, Wahyu Wibisana a

nd Hidayat Suryalaga, have contributed in this cultural phenomenon. Uton Muchtar, Ki Umbara, and Wahyu are well-known Sundanese writers, and Hidayat is one of the contemporary Sundanese authorities with deep knowledge of Sundanese living philosophy and cultural views. Thanks to them, Sundanese people can organize wedding ceremony in their own way.

Some books have been written in order to provide guidance for organizing Sundanese wedding ceremony, one of which is Modana issued in 1970s by PT Mangle Panglipur, the publisher of the oldest Sundanese magazine Mangle. The book was written by the late R.H. Uton Muchtar and Ki Umbara of Man

gle board of editors. According to the writers, the word modana is derived from a word which is known in the tradition of Sundanese people of Kanekes—foreigners usually call them Baduy people, the customs of which are seen as the prototype of contemporary Sundanese culture.

In Modana Uton and Ki Umbara describe the upacara adat in detail. It consists of seserahan (handing over the bridegroom from his family to the family of the bride), ngeuyeuk seureuh (preparing betel), nyawer (sprinkling rice, coins, candies, etc.), huap lingkung (letting the bride and bridegroom to feed each other a ball of rice, a piece of roasted chicken, etc.), etc., all of which symbolize  the way of building a family.***
Hawe Setiawan

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