Whenever there's a wedding in the family, I would be the one responsible for the weddings. Ironically, that's not the case for my own wedding.....hehehe. I guess if it's a wedding I'm looking forward to, then it's definitely a whole different story already. Not everybody's lucky enough to turn their dream wedding into a reality & unfortunately I am one of them .....huhuhu.
Okay, enough with the tears & regrets. Past is past & it's the future that we should only be interested in. So, back to the hantaran's story. For Malay wedding, though it's not compulsory by the religion's law, it is considered as important as the bride/groom themselves.
Hantaran is the gifts prepared by both the bride & groom's family & will be exchanged among each other on the wedding day. The quantity of hantaran shall be decided by the bride & groom themselves. Take note that the quantity should be only be in odd numbers - either 5 or 7 or 9... so on & so forth.
As far as the hantaran is concern, there are no standards or rules for the things chosen to be the hantaran. It can be anything from shoes, jeweleries, clothes, perfumes, cosmetics or whatever favoured by both parties as long they are in line with their budget.
However, betel leaves are compulsory to be included as one of the hantaran. Dont ask me for I didnt know why & what's the reason behind this requirement. Honestly, I dont see a point why we should add the betel leaves as nobody eats them anymore these days. Just becoz the older generation did it, nobody dares to break the rules.
During my time, hantaran are more complicated in terms of its preparation. Those days, people likes to be more crafty where the hantaran wouldnt look like their original shape / state. The towels will be made into grapes, the sarong will be folded into a fan, the sejadah will turn into a mosque etc. Thank God things are much simpler now, otherwise I'm sure you'll find a set of Transformers Robot on one of the hantaran's tray !
As I mentioned earlier in my previous post, nowadays are all about money. The more money you have, the lesser the work will be. If last time you'll need at least a week to prepare the hantaran, now in less than an hour I've completed all the 7 trays ! Wooo hooooo !!!