Yes, I got engaged!
The evolution of Malay engagement
I remember during my childhood, someone in the big family got engaged and the engagement went like this –
The guy’s family came to the house bringing dulang hantaran. The lady waited in her bedroom, sitting on the edge of her bed in her simple baju kurung. The adults in the families had some big discussions filled with jokes and laughter. The guy’s mother with the female relatives came to the room with a ring. The guy’s mother put the ring on the lady’s finger.
Growing up that’s how I thought a Malay engagement looked like. I love the simplicity of the process.
Watching western movies and TV series, engagement looks different but still simple.
The guy buys a beautiful ring. The guy is nervous before proposing to the lady. The guy gets down on one knee. The guy asks “will you marry me?”. The lady gets teary. The lady says yes. The guy and the lady kiss.
Then came the time when my friends and acquaintances started getting engaged… and oh man I realized how things have changed.
The guy’s family came to the house bringing dulang hantaran. The lady waited in her bedroom, in an outfit that sometimes could get people confused whether it’s for tunang or nikah. The adults in the families had some big discussions filled with jokes and laughter. Cue was given for the lady to come out of her room. The lady came out holding a bouquet of flowers to the beautiful dais (pelamin), which again could get people confused whether it’s for tunang or nikah. The guy’s mother came up to the pelamin. The guy’s mother put the ring on the lady’s finger.
No shade, I still love the celebration of love but oh Lord how did it get so complex?! To the first couple who upgraded their majlis tunang on par with a wedding reception – we need to talk. You two have made this into a new expensive culture.
That’s why I made it my personal goal to get away with that kind of complex majlis tunang.
Thank God for the pandemic
My parents were still holding on to *their* dream to have a proper majlis tunang *for me*. By proper, I mean with the dais and me in a veil. My mom shook her head every time I told them let’s have my engagement the way I saw it done in my childhood.
But thank God for the pandemic and the never-ending MCOs (grateful only for this one thing) – we cannot keep postponing our engagement. It must go on. During the lockdown.
So what did we do?
We had an online engagement. Not where his family still came to my house and everyone else was watching online – but a fully online one – where everyone was attending this “majlis tunang” online and both families had the discussion online. “Majlis tunang” because I swear people (at least me and my partner) were treating this as another Zoom meeting, with the sole agenda of getting us engaged. Lol.
After the discussion, what should be the time for his mother to put on the ring on my finger – turned into me showing up on everyone’s screen waving and saying hi. There’s no ring because no one was fully vaccinated yet to shop for a ring and I didn’t want to buy a ring online.
And… that’s that. That’s how we got engaged!
The cost of my online Malay wedding
Nada. Zero. We didn’t spend a single sen.
We’re super proud of it! By we, I mean me and my boyf… eh fiance. (Oh wow, I have a fiance now) Our families are not so stoked by this. My mom still wished on that proper majlis tunang. She’s planning on my ‘proper’ wedding reception now. Well, let time decides.
But one important note – as we didn’t spend on a majlis tunang, we (read: he) splurged a bit for my engagement ring. Yes, I’ve gotten my ring! I made it my top priority as soon as I finished my 14 days post 2nd dose vaccine. Hehe.
Personally, I have never had a big fantasy of how my engagement or wedding should be. That’s never really been part of my daydream. So this works just fine for me. I’m just happy that we finally took this big step!
So yes, if you’re like me – this is the best time to get engaged. Less to no expectation for you to have a proper majlis. On another hand, if you wish to have a proper majlis and this pandemic makes it difficult – I wish everything runs smoothly for you, one way or another!
Let’s continue figuringgitout.