Royal berpacar ceremony tonight
By Sonia K

The 'Majlis Istiadat Berinai Pengantin Diraja' or ceremony of berpacar (Berinai) for the royal wedding between Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah and YM Pengiran Khairul Khalil bin Pengiran Syed Haji Jaafari will be held tonight.

The ceremony will be held simultaneously at the Istana Nurul Iman - the home to the bride - and at Darul Karamah, which is the groom's residence.

Generally, this event is held on the night before the wedding day (Majlis Istiadat Bersanding Pengantin Diraja).

In the past, the ceremony was carried on top of a platform or bedstead of the bride or groom.

However, due to changing circumstances and situations the ceremony has been adapted to suit prevailing conditions, and is now performed at the audience hall or on the bridal dais placed at a suitable location in the house.

On the day before the ceremony, the groom's seat would be sent to the bride's side. The essential goods needed for the occasion include henna leaves, cutting knives with golden hill, a golden bowl, perfumes and scents.

The bride's side would reciprocate by sending over to the groom the same articles as above, including sweetmeat and cakes wrapped up in silat leaves, shaped into small thumb like sizes.

All these items are placed in brass trays laced and decorated and carried by maids dressed in ceremonial attire and accompanied by several ladies of rank.

This ceremony involves the staining of the hands of the bride and groom with henna leaves paste by designated personages, close relatives of the family including some religious dignitaries.

These personages performed the ceremony in turns, according to their social ranks and supervised by the Pengiran Penggawa. The ceremony ends upon completion of the staining by all the designated personages.

The 'Alat Kebesaran Diraja' and 'perhiasan' accompanying this ceremony is based on the host's social ranking, and is the same as in the ceremony of Berbedak Lulutan.

For this ceremony the groom would don a full Malay dress of bright yellow (like the yolk of an egg) colour, complete with a head gear, dastar and rancong. In olden times, they were also adorned with gelang penguluan (bangles) and geronchong (anklets).

The bride would also be similarly dressed in full Malay bride's attire of slightly lighter orange-yellow colour with golden thread inlaid, a pair of gelang penguluan and a pair of anklets.

From time to time the mode of dress of the royal wedding couple would be adapted to suit prevailing situation. - Borneo Bulletin (9th June 2007)