Indonesians celebrate New Year with mass wedding
search
You may kiss the brides

Indonesians celebrate New Year with mass wedding

At festive communal event staged by local authorities to ease residents’ struggles with bureaucracy, 437 couples tie the knot

Jakarta local government personnel conduct a mass wedding to welcome and celebrate the New Year 2018 in Jakarta on December 31, 2017. (AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)
Jakarta local government personnel conduct a mass wedding to welcome and celebrate the New Year 2018 in Jakarta on December 31, 2017. (AFP Photo/Bay Ismoyo)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Hundreds of Indonesian couples celebrated getting married in Jakarta on New Year’s Eve in a free mass wedding.

The communal event, attended by 437 couples, was staged by authorities to ease residents’ struggles with bureaucracy.

Many Jakartans cannot access public services because they have never legally been married, according to governor Anies Baswedan,

“If they want to celebrate their wedding anniversaries, they will not only celebrate it with their families but the whole world will celebrate with them because it coincides with New Year’s,” the governor said.

Muhammad Nasir, 64, and his 65-year-old wife Aminah, who only goes by one name, have been married since 1968 — but only according to Islamic law due to financial reasons.

Muhammad Nasir (R), 64, and his wife Aminah (L), 65, join other couples in a free mass wedding in Jakarta on December 31, 2017, despite being married since 1968 due to financial reasons and Islamic laws. (AFP Photo/Goh Chai Hin)

They have five children and nine grandchildren, but as they have never been legally married some of their children do not have birth certificates and cannot gain access to public services such as healthcare.

They immediately signed up to the mass wedding when they heard about it.

“I am happy. I am happy, I am very happy,” Aminah told AFP. “I’m happy because it’s for free and now I have all the legal documents which I have never had before, thank God,” she added.

As well as older couples who have been married according to Islamic law, young newlyweds received a gram of gold, Korans and a set of prayer outfits.

Music festivals, cultural parades, foods stalls and bazaars were also held at around the capital to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments