The Jakarta Post
Dancers perform Bedhaya Kembang Emas, a special Javanese dance, during a royal wedding between BPH Kusumo Bimantoro – the eldest son of Paku Alam X – and Maya Lakshita Noorya at Pakualaman Palace on Saturday. Bedhaya Kembang Emas was specially created by Paku Alam X, the deputy governor of Yogyakarta, for the bride. (The Jakarta Post/Tarko Sudiarno)
Inside the Bangsal Sewatama royal palace in Yogyakarta's Pakualaman principality, 26-year-old BPH Kusumo Bimantoro was joined by 25-year-old Maya Lakshita Noorya for a wedding on Jan. 5. During the ceremony, Maya bent down to wash the feet of Kusumo who, on that day, became her husband.
The act symbolizes the dedication of a wife to her husband, who is the leader of a family, as the tradition goes. The ritual, called panggih (meeting), was a highlight in the Dhaup Ageng (royal wedding) held by the principality's royal family over the weekend.
Kusumo is the eldest son of Paku Alam X, who is also the deputy governor of Yogyakarta.
Following the panggih, the couple sat down and waited to welcome the arrival of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and other state officials.
Jokowi and his wife Iriana arrived accompanied by Yogyakarta Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who is also the governor of Yogyakarta, and his wife. The President and First Lady congratulated the bride and groom before bidding farewell.
"In Javanese culture, a marriage is a sacred cultural event," Paku Alam X said in a written statement.
The royal wedding on Saturday marked a rare cultural event, as it featured all the elements of a traditional Javanese ceremony, from the procession to the decorations. In most Javanese weddings today, panggih are rarely carried out.
The entire wedding was fully documented.
At the event, guests were entertained by a traditional Bedhaya Kembang Mas dance from Paku Alam X. The choreography of the dance symbolizes the meeting between a young couple and expresses hopes for a long-lasting and prosperous future.
Before the reception, the bride and groom said their wedding vows at the Pakualaman Grand Mosque in a procession that was guarded by Pakualaman principality soldiers.
The event was not watched by many from the local community or foreign tourists, as it fell short of garnering public interest.
Seventy-year-old Kusjimah and her grandchild, however, were among a small group that came to witness the event in person.
"I came here to see it with my own eyes, because it just wouldn't be as good to see it on television," Kusjimah said. (liz/wng)