Getting up before noon on a lazy Saturday isn’t really my thing to do, so imagine how thrilled I was when receiving the following invitation:”Everybody, all brothers meeting at 6AM at my new HDB, be on time”.
This is it. I totally forgot, tomorrow is my first Singaporean wedding and I am part of the brothers. In fact I have to admit I was quite excited in foresight of the whole event. How did it turn out from an Non-Asian point of view?
The Bachelor’s Party
A week ago I attempted another summit of the Malaysian Kota Tinggi Waterfall, a hike that had been done before, failed prominently and needed to be fixed. (Read Related: How To Have A Freaking Adventure In Singapore). However, the night before was my soon to be married friend’s Bachelor Party, and being another Asian’s first, I couldn’t give it a miss.
Based on what the “usual European” Bachelor’s Party tend to be like, a real life Porno with loads of Alcohol and damaged brain cells, that night in New Asia Bar’s VIP area was considerable… relaxed.
However, it was nice, pleasant and probably more wild then the usual Singaporean night tends to be like. We had to carry the Man of the evening out after 25 shots and the mission was considered “accomplished”.
The Concept Of The “Brothers”
Not much different to what I am used to, the groom wont be able to just walk in to the brides flat, pick her up, happy hooray and drive of to honeymoon land. He has to “earn” her (or rather the right to access her place).
Where it is custom in Europe that the best man will “kidnap” the bride, hide her and only release her for the well known “Ang Pow” (Red package filled with money). Here the groom has to accomplish a series of nasty tasks, which is were the brothers come into game helping him out, pay of the “sisters” (the brides friends having setup the torture) until finally the doors will open. (Read More: Singapore is Really Strange – Can You Explain Please?)
Going back to the European custom, this has the big advantage that the “kidnapped” bride wont be “lost” in case the best man isn’t able to remember where he hid her after downing a bottle of Whiskey over the successful heist (Yes, that really happened).
First Wedding Present, Two Cans Of Tiger Beer
After the traditional part in the early half of the day was settled, the tea had been served to the elders and the Ang Pow handed out to the younger ones.. it was time to prepare for the second part of the day. Registration of Marriage, and dinner gala, both to be done at some nice Hotel, as it is custom in Singapore.
However I was slightly surprised when the (nicely set up) area for the registration ceremony appeared in front of me, outside the hotel just next to the public pool.
There was this wonderful decorated table for the couple to sit and sign their marriage on, rows of white chairs and a huge feather to be dipped in ink and be used by the signing parties… and 1 meter to the left splashing kids with their water guns, drunken guys (Caucasian… of course) singing the English national anthem over and over again and old dudes with nothing on but their Speedos, enjoying the surroundings on their lounge chairs with a big Pina Colada on their huge bellies. Ah.. speak of romantic setting.
(Read More: Why Singapore Is The Most Unromantic City Ever)
As expected the drunken party didn’t take long to repeatedly shout “Don’t do it!” when my friend grabbed the feather to sign the binding “contract”, embarrassing, even more though since I was the only other Caucasian in the whole setting. Well.. at least some need to live up to all our prejudices and so the first gift the freshly married couple received were two beer cans wrapped in a wet bath robe belt. Nice!
The Dinner, The Show…The Dance?
And then the guests started to roll in, and not like, slowly one by one, no.. what most usually will end up as a nice dinner with friends in your own decorated garden or ..well.. castle back in Europe, became a soon full ballroom of 45 tables with 10 people each. Jeez, did someone consider the costs before coming up with this idea? It must been the hotel industry that setup this custom in the first place.(Read More: How To Successfully Crash A VIP Event In Singapore)
The food was good, the short video displays of the couple as well, there were nice performances and as the designated (German) drinker to support the groom in his duty to cheer with his guests I soon became a bit tipsy… but once the program was finished and the last course had been served… there was something missing… isn’t that when the “fun part” is supposed to start? When everybody is full, happy and jolly?
The music, the dance… the famous FIRST dance… DJ play that song, but no, there was no music, no dance, instead the families of the bride and groom lined up outside the ballroom and the leaving guests got the chance to congratulate each one again. This was it! Wedding – Over!
Well, it was a long day, we were all tired and I guess the fun part had happened a week ago already.
I certainly enjoyed being part of this wedding and I am looking forward to the next one ;)
Cheers To the couple!
Discovering new interesting and strange things everyday, he provides guides, news and tips for how to survive Singapore and how to best prepare for it.
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