Sharon & Jeff's Wedding
Weekends or holidays are always my time for the family especially after you slog it out eight to ten hours, five days a week and the time you get to see them is only after that unless there are no official dinners or appointments (and they are not asleep when you get back). Those are strict rules I abide by except when you have too many of them - which goes to show when I say family I also mean the 'extended family'. The term can cause a lot of confusion sometimes because those people who coined the term 'extended' may have been the smart sociologists. To the Ibans who live in a longhouse or in a particular area, we consider each other 'kaban' or family because by means of bertusut we tend to discover we share the same Uncles or Aunties. Its complicated I guess. So when you have extended families - your distant cousin is related to you because his great great great grandad during the James Brooke era and my great great great grandad were distant cousins and they used to hunt for heads together during their free time. The funny part is when you discover so many kabans dropping by so suddenly - its as if you walk the whole length of Kuching, you are walking along the longhouse tanju (verandah). Family members call you up to say they are in town, so something must be coming up in Kuching. Anyway that is what familes are for and they do tend to give you surprises - "Hi, your aunty and I are in town with the kids, and so is your Uncle Joe and his family, plus your ten nephews and nieces." Hahaha... the fun is just starting as I had intended the weekend to be one without beer as my liver and kidney needs the rest. It looks I have to postpone that for next week.
It was only when my wife reminded me that it would be my cousin's Sharon Jimbun wedding this Saturday that I began to understand the exodus of so many kabans. Age does have that effect on you so I will blame my old neuron cells. For the past few months I usually decline wedding invitations from colleagues and friends but this is different because its kaban. Its not because I do not want to share the joy of celebrating the joyous occassion with my friends and colleagues. No - I enjoy joking with the guy (bridegroom) during the wedding and will jokingly whisper in thier ears "Are You Sure About This?" just for the fun of it. We love to see the reaction on their faces before we Congratulate them and say "Enjoy it while it last". Yes, weddings are fun!
But when you become a parent, the whole scenario changes and the reluctance to attend is always due to the fact that you do not want your children to cause havoc during the ceremony. My three year old (approaching four soon) daughter is the type that gets distracted after 15 minutes in any functions (breakfast/lunch/dinner). It tends to be more out of control if she spots her distant cousin or kaban on another table almost the same age. They will try to outdo one another tinkering with the spoons, chopsticks and glasses. If you try to stop them you will risk some high decibel screams attracting everyone to look at your table.
The Dinner Reception At Crowne Plaza Kuching
Our Master of Ceremony that night: Mr. Peter Sigie
When we arrived at the Hotel we were worried that we were going to be late as the VIP Cars were already parked at the entrance. Fortunately we were not and I could breathe easy when we found our table. With the attendance comprising of VVIPS my first task was to calm my daughter down as she saw the balloon decos and insisted that she wanted one.
The wedding potrait (Sharon is wearing her Iban Costume while Jeffery is wearing his Bidayuh Costume) - displayed outside the Grand Ballroom Entrance
Honorable Guests included the Deputy Chief Minister and wife Dato' Sri Senator - here seen with the bride's parents Temenggong James Jimbun (red tie) and wife Senorita Linang in (purple)
YB Alexander Nanta Linggi and missus next to YB Robert Chuat's wife
Datuk Celestine Ujang and YB Dato Sri James Jemut Masing
I had to be careful as I tread the Ballroom because there were many Heads of Departments there also at that time. My boss or my future bosses could be in here so I reminded myself to behave.
Mr. & Mrs. Abang Jeffery Arrives
The Flower Girls
Amidst the white mist
The lovely couple walks in
Cutting the Wedding Cake - during the wedding speeches of introduction these two were coined as The Kampung Boy and the City Girl
Pouring the wine
The Toast by the Honourable Guest
A drink for all
Thank You Speech - done with confidence and politeness
The bride sings 'Valentine'
As the night approaches the fun was beginning to start when the various singers who came on stage brought some 'catchy' songs like 'Kampung Love'. The old and young went up to sing on stage - rendering special numbers dedicated to the wedding couple. The bride's Mum, Pn. Senorita Linang is a famous Iban singer during the early 60s so I guess when the bride sang and her sisters sang as a group - they had their Mum's talents.
Easter Bayang, Larry Linang, Peter Sigie and 'Elvis'
Marcel, the Naib Juara Bintang RTM 2004 was there too!
The bride's sisters rendering a number
My Congratulations to both of you. May both of you live happily ever after and I manage to prevent myself from going to my cousin and ask her that ever famous question, "Are you Sure About This". The time they walked into the Ball Room I saw that they were very much in Love and that they were meant for one another. God Bless.