In the Philippines, wedding is one of the most important events that a Filipino can count of in his whole life, particularly in the Muslim tradition. Unlike Christians, wedding rites has come to a modernized practice as it goes with the flow of the world’s customs, as long as wedding is concern. Muslim community, however, preserved the traditional wedding rites as it marked as one of their best traditional cultural signature that they practiced and embraced even from their forefathers.
About Muslim wedding, explained
Of the several years in wedding photography, I can explain to you how the wedding or Pagkawin happens. Here you go.
Wedding in Muslim (Tausug Tribe) is called “Pagkawin” which usually happens in the house of the bride. The traditional Pagkawin in Tausug Muslim, the groom and his family will go to the house of the bride along with the traditional Muslim foods specially prepared by the women of the groom’s family for that very special occasion. The groom and his family offer serenades and gifts the moment they reach at the doorsteps of the bride’s house.
The bride on the other hand, prepares herself to meet with his groom. She will wear her most beautiful dress adorned with luxurious jewelry, and so as all the family members.
During the “Kawin” (wedding ceremony), the elite Muslim elders and the Islam (religious) leaders will stand as witnesses and will share their words of wisdom to the people specially to the groom. Unlike Christian wedding that the bride and groom is present in the ceremony, in traditional Muslim wedding, the bride is hidden, thus, in the ceremony, only the groom will face to the Imam (the one bested with the authority to solemnize a matrimony of marriage in the Muslim community, basically a religious leader or Islam leader) and seals a deal through a pact of manhood and seeks permission to the family of the bride to marry their daughter.
With the acceptance of the bride’s family, the groom now heads to the bride where the bride is hidden, usually in a private room, then the groom or one of his family members will chant a traditional wedding serenade signifying that the groom is coming and asking to see his bride. This will be then their first time to see each other as a married couple. There will be rituals as part of the traditional Muslim rites inside the private room, then they will be sharing their first meal together. Then the celebration which is full of joys and cheers will goes on and lasts for even a week. Everyone will be invited, all the members of the family tree and even friends.
But what makes it different?
Just this 23rd of September 2013, I have the privilege to cover a Muslim wedding with the Mysnapshots Fotoworks team — the Pagkawin of Am and Rhai (not their real names). What is surprising was, there was no traditional Muslim foods, instead, enjoy this momentous occasion with sweetness and freshness of fruits and desserts served in the table.
Here bon apetite! Whoa!
See photos on my Flickr photostream.