The tradional marriage custom


Like the river that decide the north bank and the south bank, traditional marriages followed the rules made by two persons. In history, the Temenggung custom was used by the locals who lived in the southern part of Melaka. The northern marriages performed the Pepatih custom. Both customs are tradional.

As a result of the long time practise of these customs, the social status, the property division and the marriage process is somehow influenced. Firstly, enquiry would be made to find out the background of the girl on the marriage custom. The local accept the first phase as merisik, in the Malay language. Upon consent after considering her background, the man seek for a betrothal. Usually, a middleman, called the Tok Sidang, would handle betrothal process, called peminangan in the Malay language.

The Tok Sidang is good at reciting poems or pantun in the Malay language. A common pantun sound like this;

Kalau tuan pergi ke Jasin,
Kirimkan saya buah rambutan,
Entahkan tawar, entahkan masi,
Inilah orang sebelah punya hantaran.

After the betrothal, the marriage arrangement begins and commitment from both sides take place as described by these pantun. The man would say;

Orang mengail di atas jejambat,
Dapat seekor si ikan limbat,
Kalau hati sudah berhajat,
Pokok nibong pun kami panjat.

To that, the girl would response in this manner;


Kalau roboh Kota Melaka,
Papan di Jawa ditegakkan,
Kalau sungguh bagai dikata,
Badan dan nyawa kami serahkan.


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