15 Apr This is how they roll: the Royal Wedding in Brunei

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JUAN SAYS: This is how they roll. In Brunei, Prince Abdul Malik, 31, has wed Dayangku Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah Pengiran Haji Bolkiah, 22, in a wedding of spectacles in the lavish settings of 1,788-room palace, Istana Nural Iman in Brunei. The couple exchanged vows in front of family, friends, nobility and foreign dignitaries amid mind-boggling splendor that showcases the wealth of the reigning Sultan Bolkiah. Muslim weddings are traditionally colorful, but what added splendor to the occasion was the large sized gemstones that adorned the wedding garments of the couple. Both sparkled in gold and diamonds to say the least.
 
We gathered the photos published on the internet and the highlights of what they were wearing on their wedding day. (Photos from REUTERS)
 
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While we wanted to compare this royal wedding to that of Prince William’s and Kate Middleton, we simply couldn’t, for the points of comparison are not there. There is a huge difference between customs, traditions and culture, so comparing the two weddings wouldn’t explain nor give justice to the choices made (by the brides and their ‘ladies-in-waiting’) for their respective weddings. Kate’s was more frugal, less opulent, less diamonds and gems. It is to say that this maybe Kate’s character, coming from a middle class family that understands what it is to be part of the workforce. Surely having this (that of Brunei’s) type of a wedding (it’s pageantry and grandeur) would speak ill and solicit a tremendous amount of bashing and bashers for the next queen of England.
 
On the other hand Dayangku’s wedding is according to specifications of the Muslim culture. We have known Muslim weddings to be colorful and an occasion to showcase wealth. This type of wedding may be perceived to be tacky and tasteless but this wedding is exactly a reflection of who they are as a people, as a culture. We wanted to say that they could have opted for a more toned-down celebration in respect of the starving people of their country, but as far as we know, Brunei is among the richest countries in the world and there are NO starving people to say the least.
 
This may be their way of proving a point to the rest of the world. This maybe their way of showing what they have and who they are and what they can do. To them it may be MORE is LESS so we add MORE. The pricier, the better; the bigger the gemstones, the better. Because maybe, to them, this is the only thing that they’ve got.
 
In contrast to the Royal Wedding in England, this wedding is not much publicized nor is it seen from all over the world. The monarchs of the east aren’t exactly as popular as the monarchs in Europe. Bashing and bashers wouldn’t come in throngs to comment nor tag them in expressions of indignation to the tackiness and frivolous display of wealth. Seriously? You bedeck someone with a crown, a huge neckpiece, a fist-size brooch, bracelets, etc. and they all think this is absolutely stunning? We were stunned all right — by the blinding blings as we moved our head from left to right in disagreement. The borloloys reminded us of our very own Christmas Tree! Sana sinabitan na rin ng Christmas lights, para fun!
 
We are wishing that the glitz and glamour of weddings is assurance enough of a fairytale ‘happy-ever-after-ending,’ but we all know the story to that. It can be said that in their culture, the man can take up to four wives, and in our heads, that in itself is sadness at its worst. Yung mambabae nga ang mga asawa ninyo, nagwawala na kayo, yun pang mag-pakasal siya sa 3 pang babae. We can think, assume that this is sick, but to women in their culture it is THE NORM, and they have no choice but to suck it in, because it is what is to be expected. But who knows, this prince may just turn out to be like the Jordanian King who chose to be monogamous even if culture says he can get more. And hey, maybe this princess is built to be exactly that, to suck it in and be glad that she is the first wife and just be happy. Who knows?

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