The daughter of the sultan of Brunei, one of the world’s wealthiest men, is set to wed this weekend in a glittering ceremony at the monarch’s 1,700-room palace.
Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah, 32, and her groom Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini, 29, exchanged vows on Thursday in the tiny oil-rich Muslim sultanate that has been governed for 600 years by the same royal family.
The couple will then be officially presented to the royal court in an elaborate ceremony on Sunday that marks the climax of more than a week of wedding-related festivities.
Southeast Asian leaders and foreign royalty were expected to be among the guests at a lavish royal banquet in honour of the newlyweds in the Islamic sultanate Sunday night, hosted by the bride’s father, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 66.
RICH culture and tradition continue to shower the royal wedding ceremonials at the Majlis Istiadat Berbedak Pengantin Diraja of Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Hafizah Sururul Bulqiah and Yang Mulia Pg Hj Muhd Ruzaini Pg Dr Hj Mohd. Yakub in the Indera Buana Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman yesterday evening.
Majlis Istiadat Berbedak, or Royal Powdering Ceremony, is a ceremonial function where members of the royal family and family members of the groom “bless” the royal couple by applying seven-coloured powdered paste and scented oils onto the palms of the couple.
Upon the arrival of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at the Indera Buana Throne Hall with Her Majesty Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha, four candles or Dian Empat were lit followed by the placing of the two-piece yellow cushion known as Kasur Namat between the Dian Empat.
The ceremony began with Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Hj Mohd Zain informing Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz that the Istiadat Berbedak Pengantin Diraja ceremony was set to begin. YAM Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Hj Abdul Aziz then duly conveyed the message to His Majesty.
Following the consent of the monarch, the royal bride was escorted into the Throne Hall by Her Royal Highness Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hjh Zariah and Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna with the wives of appointed state dignitaries.
The anticipated arrival of the royal bride was accompanied by a grand entourage made up of 40 Sinipit bearers, or spearmen, along with three Dayang-Dayang holding Payung or umbrella, Kaskol or royal betel caddy wrapped with cloth embroidered with golden thread and Kain Pendukungan.
In the entourage were also seven Pahawai Perempuan or chosen ladies bearing a Puan, a Tarian, a Kabok and Panastan, a Kiap, a Chupun, a Pasigupan and a Kaskol.
On His Majesty’s approval to begin the ceremony, a Dikir Marhaban was performed to cue the start of the ceremony and prompting all attendees to stand up.
The ceremony was initiated by His Majesty placing the powdered paste and scented oil onto the palm of the bride. This was followed by Her Majesty and other members of the royal family as well as the parents of the groom.
Outside the Indera Buana Throne Hall, a 17-gun salute went off to signal the start of the ceremony.
After the royal bride’s exit from the hall, it was the groom, Pg Hj Muhd Ruzaini’s turn to take the court to begin the Istiadat Berbedak for the groom.
The groom was escorted by his younger brother, Ak Muhd Tarmizi Pg Dr Hj Mohd Yakub, along with a grand entourage into the Throne Hall.
Pg Hj Muhd Ruzaini was dressed immaculately in traditional Malay wedding attire comprising a gilded two-piece baju Melayu.
Seated on the royal wedding dais, Pg Hj Muhd Ruzaini received “blessings” from His Majesty, followed by Her Majesty with the application of the powdered paste and sprinkling of scented oil onto his palm.
The rest of the royal family followed suit in hierarchical order, with the groom’s parents having the last honour.
Following the Majlis Istiadat Berbedak, the royal family and invited guests proceeded to the Istiadat Berjaga-Jaga and religious-orientated performances.
The Istiadat Berjaga-Jaga is an event that calls for the finer observances of royal protocol where guests are treated to a range of traditional games and Malay poetry reading. <Brunei Times/Yonhap News>
Russia, Attended Kim Il-sung University, PhD in Korean History, Leningrad State University, Professor at Australian National University(1996), Professor at Kookmin University, Contributor for The AsiaN
Nepal, Reporter of The Rising Nepal
Egypt, Editor of Al-Arabi Magazine in Kuwait, Chief of The AsiaN's Middle East Bureau
Pakistan, Pakistan Press International Editor, Contributor for The AsiaN
India, SPOTFILMS CEO, FORMEDIA Chairman
Egypt, Managing Editor of the AsiaN's Middle East Bureau, Graduate Student of Mass Communication and Journalism at Ahram Canadian University