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Lower Secondary English essays

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Write a description of a Sarawakian native wedding ceremony. Include the wedding rites and other activities
 
A Sarawakian native wedding ceremony is an interesting one to witness. For one, the whole village is often involved. All the people living in the village are invited. During the journey to the bride's house, many villagers join in as the procession passed by.

On the day of ceremony, the bridegroom and his party go the bride's village. During the journey, by boat or over-land, the bridegroom's party beats the gong and drum. The purpose is to avoid hearing the cry of bad omens. When they reach the vicinity of the village, the party will take a rest. This is the time for them to dress themselves in traditional costumes.

After changing their clothes, they continue their journey to the village. As soon as the people in the bride's longhouse see their guests coming, they fire guns to welcome the guests. The groom's party then return the gun salutes with equal number of gunshots and proceeds to the longhouse.

Upon entering the longhouse, the guests are invited to sit down, the men at the upper part of the gallery and the women in the hall. The ceremony begins with the initiation session. The session can be a lengthy affair as speakers from both sides give their speeches. In their speeches, they talk about how well they know the bride and groom. Later, both the bride's and the bridegroom's families introduce their relatives to each other.

The wedding ceremony takes place at the bridegroom's longhouse in the evening. The couple, dressed in traditional costumes, are seated side by side on brass gongs. By their sides are the bestman and bridesmaid who are also dressed in traditional costumes. Both of them have to stand in attendance. The village headman then performs the ceremony by holding and waving a cockerel over their heads, reciting his prayer of blessing. The significance of this is to bless and to wish the couple a happy married life.

The ceremony is then followed by the sprinkling of beads over the married couple. While doing this, the headman invokes a short prayer asking the spirits to bless, guide and guard them in their daily lives. As soon as this ceremony is over, food and the rice wine are served.

It is customary for an endless list of speakers to stand up to give words of advice to the newly married couple. The first to speak are the parents of both the bridegroom and the bride. This is followed by their uncles, aunts, grandparents, brothers, sisters and other relatives. The final speaker is the headman. After this is over, entertainment follows.

The merry-making commences with a lot of food, drinks and entertainment such as performances of traditional dances. This can last till dawn. The next morning the bridegroom takes the bride back to his village. Dressed in traditional costume she is accompanied by her parents and members of her longhouse.

     
vicinity   neighborhood, surroundings
     
initiation   to introduce someone into a group, club etc, usually with a special ceremony
     
customary   habitual, traditional
     
 
 

 

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Lower secondary English essays 1

 
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