Monday, 23 January 2012


E, my step-daughter called me today and told me that the 'upacara merisik' had run smoothly this evening. What is 'merisik'? Some of you, my readers might not know what 'merisik' is.
According to Wikipedia:
The adat merisik (asking ceremony, or more literally 'spying custom') is the traditional Malay system for arranging marriages. When it is time for a young man to get married, his family will look around to identify a number of potential brides. Nowadays, the man might suggest to his family who he would like them to consider, and it may be that a romantic link already exists between the man and woman.
For this ceremony one or more representatives (wakil) of the man's family pay a friendly visit to the family of the woman whom they have in mind as his potential bride. A hint will be given to her parents regarding the purpose of the visit, and their reaction will be assessed. The woman's parents may also give the visitors some idea as to whether or not their daughter would be interested in the match. The merisik does not constitute a formal proposal. Following the visit both sides can begin to think more seriously about the possibility or otherwise of a marriage. It is possible that no progress may take place, and the man's parents or representatives will then look for another possible bride.
About that last part, nowadays it is only a formality. The girl and boy involved and the parents had already come to an agreement and the meeting is usually held anyway just to set the date of the wedding to take place.
As the case of E, the proposed date of the Akad Nikah (marriage contract) is 10th March 2012 and on the bridegroom's side 11th March.
The 'merisik' was at E's maternal grandmother's house in Pasir Putih and E herself was in Kuala Lumpur as the girl's presence was not required during the ceremony.

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