It has become a habit of mine in the past few years to look through each and every Goodie Bag from any weddings that my parents or anyone in the family bring home. Will I get a chocolate? A packet of crisps? A hard-boiled bird's egg? A tiny spoon? A handkerchief?
Where the newlyweds sat in the Wedding Hall.
Things certainly have changed in weddings since I was a kid. In the old days, our old folks give out small packets of the food from the wedding menu for guests to bring home. These are called "Berkat' which is derived from the Arabic word "barakah" which means "blessing". The gesture was meant to share the blessings bestowed upon the newlyweds with the guests.
The practice however has become more and more impractical as time went by as people have less time for the preparation. In the old days, especially in the rural areas, the whole village would come over to cook, serve and pack the food together. Life isn't like that anymore. People especially in the city justdon't have time for it. It's more practical to pre-pack dry food and other small gifts days or even weeks before.
With this wedding, my auntie combined the element of today's society of "pre-packed Goodie Bag" with the old tradition of driving the manpower consisting of the whole army of her brothers, sisters, cousins, in-laws, sons, daughters, nephews and nieces including me to handle the whole event.
My job was handing out Goodie Bags! These are the Corsages my sister and I had to wear as "identification tag" for the job. Now I use them to "embellish" my CD basket. That Smiling Sun belongs to my sister. I just put it there to cheer up this picture. Man! I can't describe how painful my feet were standing and serving people around like a waitress for the whole wedding.
The Wicker basket is from the Bride for our side of the family (my cousin was the Groom). The flowers are literally called "The Stocking Flowers" because the fabric is the same fabric used to make women's stockings or pantyhose.
The Wedding favours ~ the Goodie Bags, the "Egg Flowers" at the back, the porcelain casings filled with chocolates
The "Egg Flowers" up close. They are named so because normally a hard-boiled egg would be attached to it at its stem.
Why eggs? I used to ask my Mother. She said that eggs symbolize fertility. Giving out eggs to guests is like a prayer for the newlyweds to be blessed with kids. Ooh...judging by the number of eggs normally given out at weddings, that means loadsa loadsa kiddies! My auntie just replaced the eggs with pre-packed sweet local delicacies called "dodol" for convenience.
I just love how these Goodie Bags appear to look like Halloween trick-or-treating pouches. So cool! I took home some to give to my officemates. They loved them.
Wahey! The Goodie Bags were ALL handmade by our family. Told ya we still keep the tradition.
The porcelain casings given out. My auntie let us keep some of the "English flower printed" ones as gifts for helping at the wedding.
I'm a freeloader! This is the fresh tropical flower bouquet I hoarded from the hall after the wedding was over. My auntie paid a lot for the fresh flowers. If we didn't take them away, the Hall people would just throw them away!
I had to carry the bouquet on my lap in my car (my brother was driving) all the way from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur to our village in Melaka. Our living room was beautifully fragranced for a week after that.