In Sumba, there is always something to celebrate somewhere. Celebrating and inviting more people than necessary is part of their culture. You need not necessarily attend a big festival or ceremony. If you know a little Bahasa Indonesia, it is the little encounters that we as foreigners remember for a long time.
Here is a selection of celebrations:
Perkawinan = Weddings
In the chapter history and culture / traditional way of life I have described the importance of marriage. Here is the now customary routine:
Weddings are celebrated in the bride’s house. Days before the celebration the dowry of the bride is shown in front of the parents’ house. This might be a marriage bed, TV and furniture. On the day of the celebration, the bride’s family gather in front of their house and wait for the groom.
The groom starts from his family home and collects his relatives on the way to the bride. Nowadays they use mostly Bemos and trucks for the trip. They have room for the presents: horses, water buffaloes and pigs. A decorated horse symbolizes a motorcycle.
Upon arrival of the groom, the two families consult whether the presents are in balance. Only when they agree a religious service will be held in the relevant belief. Animal sacrifices are common at weddings.