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Indonesian Wedding

Isthma talks about the customs of getting married in her home country.

Sunny: So, Isthma, can you tell me about the wedding ceremonies in Indonesia?

Isthma: The wedding ceremonies in Indonesia are pretty large, but it depends on the family as well, and the couple. We usually have it in halls, but also, some people have it in mosques, where they usually do the officials, the first stage first. And usually, it doesn't cost a lot of money, I think, because you already have the hallways and the mosques. Or usually, people have it in their homes, so it's very convenient.

Sunny: So, what age is like the average age for getting married?

Isthma: The average age for getting married for a woman is probably around 24 until 27, and for guys, for men, it's usually 27 until 30, early 30s, yeah. So, pretty young, I guess, compared to other countries.

Sunny: Who pays for the wedding?

Isthma: I think both sides pay for the wedding, but I think the groom would pay a higher percentage of it. It also depends on their compromise. I think they have the compromise of, or decide like which they have to pay or, you know, the girl's side have to pay. So, I think it would be their own decision.

Sunny: And how about the typical gifts you get from a wedding?

Isthma: The typical gifts would be money. We usually have a big box at the reception, before you come in, and it would be in envelopes, of course. That's usually it, yeah. But from the groom, maybe they do provide, like they give beds or, as you said, refrigerator or any other households.

Sunny: How about the women? Usually, do women work when they get married, or are they usually housewives?

Isthma: Again, it depends on the couple. But usually, women are housewives, because they have to take care of their husband, and they have to be at home when their husband comes home. Usually, after a few years, if they do have a child, of course, the wife would have to stay home and take care of the child or the baby.

Sunny: How about the divorce rate? Is divorce common?

Isthma: Divorces are uncommon in Indonesia, just because the majority of Indonesians are Muslims, and we don't - it's frowned upon in Indonesia. So I think that's another reason why the percentage is really low for divorces, yeah.

Sunny: Is there anything unique about the Indonesia wedding?

Isthma: I think one unique thing - well, I think there are a lot of unique things in Indonesia; I think for every culture - we have our own traditional clothes that we have to wear. So every culture in every island maybe they have like their own special clothes that they need to wear, and it's very different from each island, yeah.

Sunny: Okay, thank you.

Isthma: Thank you.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

early 30s


They get married in their early 30s.

People in their early thirties are about 30-33 years old.  Mid thirties would be 34-36, and late thirties 37-39.  Notice the following:

  1. I got married in my early 40s.
  2. My parents married in their early 20s.



Both sides pay, depending on the compromise.

Compromise often occurs in business or politics when people or groups with different demands reach an agreement. For example, Group A wants 20%, Group B offers 10%, so they compromise on 15%.  Notice the following:

  1. Let's meet and discuss a compromise.
  2. After a long meeting, the two sides finally reached a compromise.

bride's side


The couple decides if the bride's side pays.

A bride is a woman getting married. The' bride's side' is her family and friends.  Notice the following:

  1. In the US, the bride's side usually pays for the wedding.
  2. Hi.  Are you on the bride's side or the groom's?



The majority are Muslims.

In informal usage, 'majority' is similar in meaning to 'most'.  Notice the following:

  1. In the US, the majority of high school students have part-time jobs.
  2. In the US, most high school students have part-time jobs.

traditional clothes


Every culture has its own traditional clothes.

Traditional clothes were or have been a part of the country's culture for a long time.  Notice the following:

  1. Traditional clothes in Japan would include the Kimono.
  2. America is a young country, so an example of traditional clothes would be, Levis if course!

Vocabulary Quiz

early 30s • compromise • side
majority • traditional
  1. The guests from the bride's have all gone home.
  2. He was in his when he got married.
  3. The of their club members are young professionals.
  4. Contestants wore their clothes for the pageant.
  5. Both parties are happy with the they have reached.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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