Last two weeks holiday was spent mainly visiting family in Kedah and Penang, that was my chance since hubby was away to spend more time with my family. Attended a kampung style wedding in Jitra where the celebration took nearly 4 days from preparation until cleaning, no caterers or wedding planner..it's all what they call 'pakat', where they have a committe to handle from A-Z. It has been a tradition where one family will give (tanam) something to the host such as potato, chillies, rice, sugar even bunga telur and the secreatary will write down those particular complete with quantity. So the next time their turn come the cycle goes again and normally they will return the same thing.
The whole ambience looks welcoming and cheerful with people erecting tents two days before the wedding, women preparing meals for men, some were sorting things..it was like a whole village celebration, tikar mengkuang was laid outside for the women and few men busy tying a poor cow at the back of the house. The host was busy checking things whether it's enough or not for the workers (bentara) and at the same time still receiving goods from neigbours.
A day before the wedding, the house were full with people preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the helpers, it's not even a wedding day but the house looks different with bunga telur of different colours at one corner and the smell of ikan talang, spices, fresh banana shoot fills the air..At nite, most of the work were concentrate mainly inside the house where the pelamin will be decorated,.. living in a village gave them no problem of space where their kitchen and hall are double the size of urban houses. At one corner women were preparing bunga telur and goodie bags for the bentara, this bag usually contains bunga telur, sweets and traditional kuih especially kuih bakar and kapal terbang.
Meanwhile there were few people outside cooking nasi lemak and sambal tumis for tomorrows breakfast or what they call 'nasi menyorok'..this meal is actually for the helpers as well, that means this style of wedding is really tiring, I don't think people in urban area could still manage to gather people and expect them to commit like this..and we have to bear the fact that our house will be a mess..!! but they have no choice coz it has been a tradition to 'pakat' rather than hiring a caterer otherwise no one will attend your wedding!
The main dishes were prepared early in the morning of the big day, one cow for one type of menu, so it was beef curry cooked in three big kawah, chicken and ikan kering were in the list for those who don't eat beef, acar nenas, acar mangga and air sirap. The beef curry looks different maybe becoz the kawah and the banana shoot, the gravy were a bit greyish but it taste just fine...and the wedding last until midnite and the next morning it is the host turn to work hard cleaning up the house...and counting the plate, fork and spoon for the next cycle next week or next month....