Indonesia is a very unique country because it has a lot of diversity ranging from religions, ethnicities, races, and cultures which are very different in this country. Of the many cultures in Indonesia, I was born from the traditional Pariaman culture, namely West Sumatra. West Sumatra is famous for its many kinds of culture, one of which is the cultural habit of pariaman, namely “Bajapuik”. have you ever heard “Bajapuik”? Usually, general people rarely know about these customs. This culture is an identity of people who are descendants of pariaman. “Bajapuik” is the meaning of the word to pick up, the term is like a woman buying a man of the pariaman descent. The initial stage is when a family has a daughter who is ready to marry, both parents will find a mate for their child when they meet a man who their parents think is suitable, the woman’s family visits the man’s family’s house to approach their child and confer “Bajapuik”.

Pariaman Wedding
Pariaman Wedding, source:

“Bajapuik” is a tradition of pariaman marriage which is very characteristic of the pariaman culture, this culture is a family obligation on the part of the woman to give such as money, gold, objects, which is agreed by both parties. before the marriage contract is carried out precisely on the application. In this culture, both parties negotiate to get approval, because in this case if a man is a person who has a degree, is highly educated, has a very good job, the higher the knowledge of the man the higher the money he earns.

After the japuik money is given to the male family, the program can be continued with the alek randam (release) and malam bainai. It seems that it is already familiar with what is malam bainai, malam bainai is the implementation of the ceremony to release the bride and groom before a few days of the wedding ceremony. The term bainai is to apply henna to a woman, to attach a fine collision of red henna leaves which is attached to the nails and hands of the prospective bride, when the henna is applied, the woman is declared to have a potential partner. Malam bainai is an important moment as a form of prayer for the blessing of both parents, family, and relatives so that it becomes a very touching night. Usually, children who marry young before marriage always want to satisfy their friends before their wedding day, in this case, women at malam bainai are like a day that will not be repeated to gather with their friends because they will continue to live together. potential mate, therefore the moment of malam bainai is usually filled with an emotion like it is very touching.

My observation is that the culture of the malam bainai originating from West Sumatra is very similar to the wedding culture of the Arabs. This henna party is a way of putting henna on the bride and groom, at the event, food, drinks, henna painters are served, dances to welcome the bride and groom and also family, relatives, and friends of the bride. Therefore, malam bainai and henna parties are very similar to the two because this Arabic tradition is transmitted to Indonesian Malay tribes.

By: Syahdam Banderas