Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Our children’s weddings – is it going to be a major cash drainer?

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Asian parents normally bear the full cost of their children’s weddings. This cultural norm + keeping up with the Joneses + inflation + number of children can inflict serious damage on a parent’s finances. 

We have five children. The two eldest should have marriage in their plans over the next couple of years. The younger three are still young and have quite a number of years to go. So, as you can imagine, all aspects of weddings are an important part of our long term planning.  

Malaysia is still a young nation. Until recently we were still an agricultural nation, basically a rural economy, with a large number of people living in the villages. Development has resulted in the migration of many to the cities with the villages being left with the old or the very young. As this phenomenon is relatively new, many of us in the cities still have a strong rural background, at least in our minds.  

As they say, “You can take a Malaysian out of the village, but you cannot take the village out of him.” 

These days many weddings are held in hotels or halls. The grander the hotel or the hall the higher would be the price tag. This is usually the case for city folk.  Some just have it in their homes, often barricading off the roads to function as the dinner / lunch venue. Though this inconveniences the neighbours, it is taken in good spirit and everyone just goes with the flow. 

Village weddings are another thing. They are far cheaper, as there is no hall to rent, no caterers and almost everyone pitches in to help.  

I had an opportunity to be present at a wedding in Zai’s village last week. Whilst having lunch, I thought about the cost of the weddings for my children and wondered if going rural should be the way to go. After all, on my wife’s side, the grand matriarch of the family has a huge house which is lying empty now. It would be prefect for a wedding.    

On the negative side, attending the wedding would be a major pain in the neck for my friends who mostly live in the city.  Well, just thinking.  

Here are some pictures taken at the wedding. Enjoy.

raja-sehari.jpg

The King and Queen for the day. The groom is from Zai’s village, whilst the bride is from another State. Her delegation was there is full force to lend support and to get to know the boy’s side better.

car-parked.jpg

The official car park. The unofficial ones were any house which had space in their lawn, and there were plenty!

  the-kitchen.jpg The kitchen. All the cooking was done by men. It started at 5 a.m. and finished at 11.00 am, just in time for the guests.  Notice the firewood, it’s rubber wood from the nearby rubber smallholdings. Almost everyone in the kampung has a small lot planted with rubber.

dj.jpg

We cannot have the function without the DJ, can we? This DJ was perfect for this crowd, speaking in Nogri slang for the groom’s people and Kelantan slang for the bride’s people. 

ladies-helping-out.jpg

The ladies wearing yellow are from the village association. They help out at all the village functions and weddings with the serving of food etc.

people-makan.jpg

The main lunch hall. With tall rambutan trees providing the shade and the cool kampung  wind providing the ventilation.

lunch-hall.jpg

Guests having their lunch. Though the seating could take only abouy 50 people, the function spread out over 4 hours. People came, ate their fill, mixed with the other guests and left. Then others arrived to take their place. This is a great way to accomodate the late comers and the early birds.

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