Saturday, June 9, 2012

Elopement (Kawin Lari) in Lampung

By on 2:53 PM

Elopement (Kawin Lari)

Getting married is still considered sacred in Indonesia, especially in Lampung Province (southern tip of Sumatera) where tradition and culture have been upheld by  society of Lampung tribes. In addition, marrying a woman of Lampung tribe may cost a lot of money.


Lampung families are known to like carrying out expensive wedding ceremonies especially those who are considered well off. The bridegroom to be is normally requested to prepare financial support to cover a wedding reception expenses that may incur and to purchase furniture that will be given to the bride and bridegroom when they leave the parents’ house after the wedding reception is done.

Not all prospective bridegrooms are financially capable of supplying what parents' bride require. What does a man who wants to marry a woman of Lampung tribe have to do to avoid high cost of a wedding reception?

There is one way out to avoid it and it is still possible for a man to pop the question. This is what is known in Lampung tradition as elopement. The man and the woman arrange that should go away together, usually to one of his relatives to stay there temporarily until his plan to marry her is approved of by the parents' bride to be. Usually the elopement turns out to be successful. Both families meet to arrange what the party will be like. The meeting usually discusses the financial capability of the man to cover wedding reception cost. Since the man has eloped with the woman, requested cost is usually lower.

In reality, the woman’s parents and relatives help share the wedding reception cost, the amount of which is usually much higher than the man has to prepare. Lampung families support one another whenever one of the family members or relatives will hold not only a wedding reception but also other ceremonial events. This is something Lampung tribe should be proud of as this mutual support may not be found in other Indonesian cultures and traditions.

The fact that Lampung families always require big amount of money for their daughters’ wedding reception has discouraged many men who want to marry women of Lampung tribe. Because of this Lampung single women find it hard to have boyfriends to marry them. Some of them succeed in getting married at the age of 28 – 30, while other Indonesian women usually got married at the age of 24 – 27.


Nowadays, it seems that old tradition of marrying their daughters is not fully followed or adhered to, considering the fact that men will think twice before they pop the question. Some of the Lampung families are willing to marry off their daughters without requiring high cost marriage preparation  that is to be born by prospective bridegrooms.