It's interesting to note there are more than 300 cultures and languages over here in Indonesia and needless to say, this has an enormous impact on marriage ceremonies. There are different types of wedding ceremonies in Indonesia and you can learn a great deal about the details in a Javanese wedding in Kasunanan Kraton since each custom is showcased on brass relief. There's this bit where both the bride and the bridegroom are sitting on the bride's father's lap, meaning that he loves them both equally. Well, this might be a mite of a problem if the old man has arthiritis, no?
Now, I was nosing around the market that sells junk ( Pasar Triwindu ) when I came across these kneeling wooden dolls. At first glance, I thought these were Tau Tau or wooden funerary effigies. But I was mistaken, apparently, these dolls were wedding statuettes or "loro blonyo" ( which means 'two together') and no self-respecting Javanese home was complete without them. They're often displayed prominently in the living room and the presence of these dolls guarantees longevity, fertility, health and prosperity for the family. And that's not all, these dolls reflect the family's financial position too - the more detailed the carving, the higher the family status. Plus they make a great wedding gifts - these dolls are placed in front of the marriage bed before the wedding ceremony begins and later they are replaced by the bride and groom.
Did I get a pair? Well, let's just say I've watched too many Chucky-esque movies and a firmer believer in silverware.
If you look at the road signs in Solo carefully, you'll notice that it's written in Indonesian (Roman alphabet) and what appears to be a curly, hindu-like scipt. I found out later that it wasn't Sanskrit at all but 'hanacaraka', a Javanese script that could only be deciphered by a few locals.