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The Day I Was a Mah Meri Bride

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Written by ย ย 201
4 weeks ago

[#115] Date: 21st September, 2021

Long-time readers of my articles will know that I'm single.... but recently, I remembered that I actually was "married" before. Ahahaha!!! As a travel influencer and content creator, I had the opportunity to explore and receive first-hand experiences on different things, including marriage.

On a trip to the Mah Meri Cultural Village, I was randomly selected to be a "bride" in a cultural wedding ceremony for the guests. The reason was simple. It wasn't that random, but I was chosen because I had long hair and it was easier for them to fix the headgear on me, held on by my hair.

For the uninitiated, "Mah Meri" is an aboriginal tribe that resides in Malaysia. In their language, Mah Meri means "People of the Forest", although they were originally known as the "People of the Sea". This tribe lives in Carey Island, about 70 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur city. The size of the community here is only about 4,000 people.

To promote the tribe, and to create an income source for them, a cultural village was established to welcome visitors, who were required to pay an entrance fee. The Mah Meri tribe, one of 19 aboriginal tribes in Peninsular Malaysia, is rich in customs and traditions. Therefore, a visit is a must for those who are interested in such subjects.

It is a good thing that modern civilization has not touched these indigenousย Mah Meri people, by their own choice. In fact, they still adopt a mystical cultural heritage that is steeped in the spirit of animism. This means that they believe that spirits live in everything around us; not only in humans and animals but also in plants and inanimate objects.

at the wedding dais

During the mock wedding where I was the bride, guests were shown how a Mah Meri man selects his bride, how she should react if she accepts his hand in marriage, or if she declines it. In this case, the groom had no choice but to choose "me" because I was already selected for the role as his bride. HEHEHEHE!!! As one of the most auspicious celebrations of the Mah Meri tribe, the intriguing wedding ceremony was conducted based on spiritual beliefs passed down from one generation to another. Even though it was "only" a mock wedding, everything was conducted properly and seriously like a real wedding.

Having traveled so extensively and tried out so many different things, my participation in this mock wedding ceremony as the bride was one of the most outstanding experiences to date. My groom was a friend from the Philippines, another travel influencer. Out of respect for him and my two "bridesmaids" who were visiting guests from France, I have blurred out their faces in this photograph.

Till today, our friends still make fun of us by declaring that we are "husband and wife", even though Edgar, the groom, is already back in his hometown in Cebu.

Oh, another major celebration for this tribe is known as "Spirits Day", observed to appease the spirits of their ancestors and to seek their blessings. Celebrated over four days, with the date selected by tribal elders through their dreams, and usually falls at the beginning of the year, the Jo-Oh mask dance is performed to invite ancestral spirits to join in the festivities.ย 

Jo-Oh mask dance

The mask represents the souls of the ancestors and it is believed that the wearer during the dance is bestowed with spiritual powers, transmitted from the ancestors. Again, guests to the cultural village are encouraged to participate in the dance demonstration to get a feel of how things really go.ย 

Granted, these experiences may not be suitable or interesting for everyone but there is indeed much to learn about other communities if only we keep an open mind.ย 

*Photos credit emily2u

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Comments

Aha you are married to a Filipino! we should go hunt Edgar!!

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4 weeks ago

Ahaha no need to hunt! We're connected on Facebook!

$ 0.00
3 weeks ago

Aha! So he knows you're married! Hahaha what?

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3 weeks ago

Hhmm? Edgar was my groom in the mock wedding. He's still legally single now, and so am I. Spiritually, I don't know! AHAHAHA!!!

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3 weeks ago

AHAHAHHAHAHAHAH! it is a spiritual union after all ahhahaha

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3 weeks ago

Oh dear, we laugh at the silliest jokes!

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3 weeks ago

Ikr! Hahaha.

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3 weeks ago

Wait a min... You are still what???? Kidding me dear? No idea about it. Well a mock bride...that's a new thing to know. A type of old tradition I guess. But the dress is gorgeous.

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4 weeks ago

That's a leaf dress LOL Yeah, mock bride, or actress for the day.

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4 weeks ago

This is great ๐Ÿฅฐ who knows maybe someday,the destiny is in the air already ๐Ÿ˜Š

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4 weeks ago

I hope so, but I am not holding my breath for that.

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4 weeks ago

Wahahaha i know you are singke madam emilyyyy๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ‘ˆ

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4 weeks ago

Ahahaha still am!!!

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4 weeks ago

Oh, it's consider legal to them right? So you two are really married haha. What if Edgar is the one? Hihi

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4 weeks ago

Haha no, he's not the one... we hardly keep in touch already, no reason to.

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4 weeks ago

You became married even just for a day. Hehe

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4 weeks ago

hahaha yeah, I did, damn my long hair!!!

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4 weeks ago

This is the first time I've heard of this kind of tradition. I'm even more surprised to see this dress because it looks so beautiful.You think it's unique cultural.

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4 weeks ago

Yup, it was the culture of this tribe and I got to learn about it by participating.

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4 weeks ago

That's a unique culture they've got there . Is it great po to experienced as a bride for the groom.๐Ÿ˜Š..That mask dance remind me of something similar to the story we read in highschool..Can't remember the title.

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4 weeks ago

The mask dance is very spiritual in nature. I got goosebumps just watching it.

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4 weeks ago

Different cultures and their beauty amazed me. As per the post, I loved it. Being a bride(not in reality) is something crazy I should try. And dear, you will have your prince soon. Best wishes.

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4 weeks ago

Thanks for your kind words. Luckily it was just acting. Hehehe

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4 weeks ago

Waw I really love travellers but I have phobia for travelling.

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4 weeks ago

hmmm you should travel with a small group of trusted family members or friends.

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3 weeks ago

You sneaky, you! Not in a relationship? Because you're married!!! Hahaha. But this is a real cool experience, never mind that it's just for show. Immersion into a culture is a wonderful eye-opener and the best way to gain knowledge.

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4 weeks ago

Ahahaha Thank god just for show. I don't want to be a real Mah Meri bride.

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4 weeks ago

Congratulations ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚on being a bride . I love the fact that they kept their culture still even in this times when civilization seem to be drifting us away from our culture. The mask guy reminds me of a movie I saw with involved Native Americans. I loved their believe that says that there are spirits in everything we see living and non living alike. This was a fun read I enjoyed it

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4 weeks ago

Ahaha.... in fact, when we were at this cultural village, there are many "Don'ts" in case we offended the spirits. Quite creepy, actually!!

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4 weeks ago

When I read the title, I was thinking - did she mean My Merry Bride? or maybe she mispelled Mammary? Haha

Wow, you got virtual hugsbands stashed all over the place! I remember the rumors of sailors having such at every port ;) Just kidding.

You SERIOUSLY do look almost exactly like that friend of the family I mentioned. Maybe you really do have a twin?! (Mike Meyers: "Twins, Nigel! Twins!" :D)

Oh, sorry ... glances over quickly ... "Do I deserve a spanking for that? What if I asked nicely" :)

Makes me want to post Garfield and dancing animals videos again, but I will restrain myself seeing as how late it is for you. Good night ๐Ÿ‘ธ and thanks for sharing your adventures.

$ 0.10
4 weeks ago

You need to share the photo of the woman with me, so that I can see if we are alike. I have many people tell me that they've seen my lookalike, but when I myself see her, I don't think so. LOL

Spankity spank!

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4 weeks ago

I was thinking the same that maybe I could show you a picture of her but, as you know, I don't have many pictures but someone else might. The picture with you sitting down looks almost exactly like her :) Then again, looks can change over time and you know I've got "Caucasion vision" issues too ;) Still quite an interesting coincidence.

Oh wait, don't spank me yet ... let's grab the furbabies and the full length mirror first Hahaha! =)

That Garfield music video was funnnyy :)

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3 weeks ago

hahaha Caucasian vision that can't differentiate one Asian from another!! Indeed, looks have changed. I can see that I was fatter in that old picture. I lost a lot of weight too, after Nepal (lack of food to eat) and Vietnam (sick for half the trip).... but that was in 2019.

Which Garfiled music video? Email me... I haven't got time to go thru the list yet. LOL

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3 weeks ago

Is Edgar still single? You two should marry then ๐Ÿคฃ

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4 weeks ago

Yup, still single, but he's a lot younger LOL... Toy Boy!!! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

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4 weeks ago

Whatt?? haha really your married before? Didn't know that either haha anyways you look beautiful tho, your smile says it all and I am certain that they chose you as their bride because your pretty not just your long hair. That kind of culture was fun and fascinating ๐Ÿฅฐ

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4 weeks ago

Ahahaha they needed someone with long hair to hold the head gear. Ah. just my luck!!

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4 weeks ago

Now I understand why you are single. It is because you are actually married hahaha. Lol. Kidding aside. I am amazed by their culture. Thanks for sharimg this ems.

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4 weeks ago

Hahaha Yeah, already married in one sense!!! It's my pleasure to share. Glad you enjoyed it.

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4 weeks ago

The culture fascinating me, very interesting culture. You look perfect as a bride no doubt of it.

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4 weeks ago

hahaha thank you for your compliment!!!

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4 weeks ago