Yogyakarta royal wedding
procession kicks off Sunday

The four-day wedding procession of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X’s youngest daughter GKR Bendara, 25, of Yogyakarta Palace and KHP Yudanegara, 30, kicked off Sunday with a plangkahan ritual held at the palace’s Kraton Kilen (Sultan residence) building.

The ritual was held because GKR Bendara, or GRAj Nurastuti Wijareni as she was previously named, is getting married ahead of her elder sister GRAj Nurabra Juwita, 28, Sultan’s fourth daughter. The tradition requires Bendara to ask for permission from Nurabra to get married before her.

“I have no problem with it. I see a mate as a fortune. We have our own fortune and I’m happy for Reni,” said Nurabra after the ritual, referring to Bendara’s nickname.

The ritual requires Reni to present two bunches of sanggan banana fruits to Nurabra as a symbol of asking for permission and a set of gifts according to her sister’s request.

“The gifts comprise of a handbag, a purse and a pair of shoes that Reni and I bought together in Jakarta. Those are the gifts that I myself picked,” said Nurabra, who is an employee of an IT software company in the capital city.

She also said she had long expected that Reni would get married before her. Reni had been dating with Ubaidillah, now KPH Yudanegara and head of the print media political communication sub-division of the Vice Presidential Secretariat, for 4.5 years before deciding to get married.

The plangkahan ritual was followed by ngabekten, a ritual during which the bride did sungkeman or kneeling before her parents and pressing her nose on their knees to show esteem and humility for asking for permission to undergo the whole wedding procession.

After that the bride was walked to the palace’s Kaputren compound to go through the sengkeran (seclusion) ritual during which she was placed at the Kaputren’s Sekar Kedhaton building to stay while waiting for the next procession to be held the following day.

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