Significance of Malam Berinai
By Jon Tampoi

Malam Berinai is an event where the bridal couple is celebrated in the last premarital event. Marital events are measured by means of the Bersanding ceremony that is usually held after the Berinai ceremony. This is the ceremony where the bridal colouring of fingers and toes are done with henna leaves.

The Berinai Ceremony is locally known as the Malam Berpacar or Menitiki Pacar. In the past, the ceremony was a family affair done quite often in a low-key manner. The ceremony was always open to family members. In the event, the guests will be presented with a Champur or take away.

The Malam Berinai was usually done after the Berbedak Ceremony. The bridal couple will be worked on with the full bridal beauty treatment of Berbedak-bedak Mandi that consisted of Lulut, Pirasang and Kanji Ambuyat to smoothen the skin and remove bad skin.

The Berinai ceremony is the last event of beautification before the Bersanding ceremony is held. The items used for the ceremony is the finely grounded henna leaves mixed with tamarind or in some event, tea. Before henna paste is applied, a ceremony will be held. The ceremony is called the Malam Berinai.

The ceremony begins with the bridal couple, at separate venues. Sitting on a dais that could be a simple 'Pelaminan' for the public or for the aristocrats, Gata, Mingsun or Panggau.

The senior most member of the family will begin 'Menitiki Pacar' (staining of the bridal person). Others follow this in accordance in rank of family and society. This is only done on the palm of the hand till by all those present.

The event is then concluded with full application of the henna on the hands and feet of the bridal couple. The application of henna is to identify and distinguish the celebrated person and to beautify them. The henna that is applied is left on the fingers and toes as long as possible to ensure strong staining of the colour. - Borneo Bulletin (10th June 2007)