Karo Batak Traditional Wedding Ceremonies - Indonesian wedding customs and traditions: "Karo Batak Wedding Ceremonies
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It's not often that we, as foreigners in Indonesia, are given the opportunity to delve deeply into the cultural traditions of traditional Indonesian ceremonies. Recently, Hartmuth “Heinz” Kathmann and his lovely bride, Rose Merry Ginting, gave me that opportunity. Merry's father, Rakatta Ginting, served as our cultural guide as we discussed and looked at hundreds of pictures which document the traditional ceremonies in their recent marriage.
While each of the major Batak societies/tribes (Alas-Kluet, Angkola, Dairi, Karo, Mandailing, Pakpak, Simalungun, Sipirok, and Toba) are related, they have distinctive languages, customs and cultures. The traditional Batak homelands surround Toba Lake in North Sumatra. Merry Ginting is from the Ginting marga (clan) of the Karo Batak ethnic group, and her family ensured that the necessary wedding customs were followed, even though she was marrying a German national.
You Must Become a Batak, Heinz!
The primary obstacle to Heinz and Merry's marriage was the Batak tradition that a Batak can only marry another Batak, so Heinz had to be accepted into a Batak marga. Since tradition further stipulates that a man may not marry a woman f"