Last Sunday was a great day. My former roomate was getting married with the same girl he used to torture me every night with hours-long conversation over phone in our room after I got dumped, I met my old friends and catched up with each other, I ate tons of free food and I made friends with a bunch of strangers I met during and after the wedding. It was odd to call it great day though especially after watching Arsenal and Perak lost their recent league games.
But anyway, here are 5 things I learnt at wedding
1. Gotong-royong is a dying tradition
Gotong-royong or gejobos as the Javanese call it is in fact a dying tradition nowadays. There are no:
1. Buying onions, potatoes, dried chillies, bunga lawang, jintan manis and all those spices from our mom's favorite grocery store.
2. Neighbours who will lend some of their kuali kawah, blender, senduk, stove, chopping board and even their freezer for our mom.
3. Kids in the neighborhood who will be helping our dad sending meals with a talam, cleaning tables and washing dishes for 20 bucks.
4. Makcik-makcik who will come to our house as early as Thursday to start peeling the onions, potatoes and cleaning the chickens and the beef.
It's sad really because remember how we used to write essays like 'Kepentingan Semangat Gotong-Royong' back in primary school and we were writing how the spirit of gotong-royong is best displayed in wedding?
2. Traditional food couldn't be more scarcer.
Back in the olden days, tapai pulut was the top delight of any traditional Javanese meal. I'm not even talking about tapai ubi. Tapai ubi is more like the uglier brother of tapai pulut. It tastes awfully sour, the texture is bland and it looks like baby food and to make it even worse, it is often packed in plastic case.
Now, tapai pulut is in danger to extinct - just like Malayan tiger, keroncong band and discette. Even the best slices of original Sunkist oranges, Californian apples, corn pudding, sirap lengkong and tapai ubi won't match with the worst tapai pulut, I give you that.
3. Wedding makes you question yourself
Wedding gives you a harsh reality check. You would be happy for them first, but as soon as you are back to your normal, single life you wonder if you would find 'the one'. You wonder if you'd get to meet her before your belly become more and more similar to your dad's (unless your dad happened to have a nice flat, muscular abs). You wonder if she's pretty as you would imagined. You wonder if you should be dating instead of stalking on some random chicks in another wedding that isn't yours.
4. Getting in touch with your roots
Nowadays, young generations are not very keen to practise their descendant's tradition. The Kayans are no longer wearing their neck coils, the people from aborigine tribes are no longer storing their ancestor corpes in a case and the Javanese and Banjar youngsters are no longer speaking the languange.
I gotta say, my Javanese is still not very impressive. I could speak in a specific occasion, but not in a daily conversation. Whenever I find myself speaking in Malay instead of Javanese to another older Javanese at a wedding, I feel ashamed. I feel like I'm the douchebag that speaks fake Cockney accent in Adibah Noor's taxi in a Hari Raya TV ad (remember?). So, from now on I will take initiative to learn Javanese so that I could speak and curse in Javanese like a Majapahit sailor.
I'm not one to talk about fashion but what happened last Sunday was not a coincidence. Almost every guy in the the wedding (aside of the bride and his bridesmaid of course) were wearing flannel shirt as if we were in Sonic Youth's concert. Few years ago (especially during early 90's), everyone is wearing a flannel shirt to almost everywhere. But since the decline of grunge music, flannel shirt become kinda like something an oldfag would wear. But I guess it's coming back now.
If you're bored to death in a wedding, try counting flannel shirts instead of sheeps.