Bf and I are fourth++ generation Chinese living in Indonesia. Simply put, we don’t know anything about the Chinese tradition, it’s all lost in generation. I mean, I do know a little, I know in Chinese New Year we (the kids who are not married) receive ‘angpao’ (money inside red envelope), we go to ancestor’s cemetary during Ching Ming day, we eat ‘onde’ on onde day and we eat ‘bachang’ on bachang day.
I admit, I know nothing. I only know that that’s what my grandmother and mother do every year, let alone what it meant. So when it comes to the engagement tradition, we are totally blank about it. My initial idea of my engagement day is bf will come with his family bringing fruits in baskets, just to give the Chinese tradition a slight touch. But then, around one month before the day, bf’s mom suddenly feeling like we need to put more effort to the tradition and the fruit basket. I don’t know much about what there should be in the basket according to the tradition, but it sure is not just fruits assembled prettily in a basket by the store employee.
After a little tip from bf’s mom friend, we went to Toko Berlian in Kalipah Apo, Bandung to basically ask what should be inside the basket. If possible, we would be happy if they could help us assemble it. Upon arriving, we were confused by the various type and prices of the baskets! The first box we asked priced more that 1mi rupiah (around 74 USD). Apparently the price is based on the material used for the box. The expensive ones use acrylics as the cover, and the cheaper ones use the plastic like in toys boxes. And because our E-day is still about 4 days from that day, we cannot have it assembled by them, in case the fruit inside would get rotten. So after asking the employee, just then we knew that we should put (in each basket) 8 apples, 8 oranges, 8 koya cakes, and sweets. So we bought two boxes, snap pictures of the already assembled boxes for us to cheat on and went home.
H-1 before the day, bf picked me up in my home to help him buy and assemble the fruits.
So based on our cheat sheet, we started to assemble it ourselves. First we put the red paper as the base. Then eight ‘koya‘ cakes were placed in the middle between eight oranges and eight apples. And then we put the coin-shaped chocolate above all the fruits. And then we scatter the sweets. Lastly we put the two plum candy (the ones with Chinese character) above the koya cakes. Please correct me if I’m wrong, I was told those characters meant happiness.
Bf said he and his family will arrive around 11 AM, so my family arrived around 9 AM to help with the preparation, and to just catch up with one another.
The women were chatting, and the men were playing billiards. Typical, haha.
That’s me, my cousin, and my mom. My mom has always been more fashionable than me, and she does rock that blonde, short, spike hair 🙂
And then at the designated time, bf with his fam arrived. With the baskets, of course.
And then the family have a chat and get to know each other. My family were standing behind me and my mother.
And then, in Chinese tradition, the mother of the man family will put on necklace on the woman. Here’s bf’s mom putting on necklace on me.
And here we are seriously amazed at something :p
And that’s pretty much everything. After that, my family returned two whole cake, because of a reason I don’t know until now. And after all that little ceremony we all went to a restaurant for lunch. Neither me nor bf understands the tradition anymore. But we were still grateful to be able to put a little Chinese tradition for our engagement. We hope our wedding preparation would be smooth and we will went through our long journey with happiness, as written in our baskets. We were very thankful for the blessings and help from our family and friends. We wish you all happiness as well!