Wedding of Jokowi’s son
event for all

Thousands of people, from ministers to pedicab drivers, flocked to the city early in the morning on Thursday to attend the five-part wedding reception of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who married Selvi Ananda following traditional Javanese customs on Thursday.

Aside from families and relatives, guests invited to attend the first part of the reception included civil servants from the Surakarta administration — many of whom Jokowi led from 2005 to 2012 when he was the mayor of Surakarta — along with members of the Surakarta market vendors’ association, barbers’ association and pedicab drivers. Authentic Surakarta dishes and snacks prepared by Chilli Pari, a catering service company owned by Gibran, were provided for the guests.

Thousands of people were not invited but were still cheerfully enjoying the festive atmosphere. They hoped to get a glimpse of the First Family, who left the venue by riding a horse-drawn carriage cart and horse at 1 p.m. to their nearby private residence to rest before welcoming VIP guests for the evening reception.

Sri Prihati, a resident of Palagan, Yogyakarta, said she had arrived at 6 a.m. to watch the wedding, even though she was not allowed to enter the venue. “I just want to get a closer look at the wedding of the President’s son,” she said.

Another spectator, Puji Astuti, came all the way from Madiun, East Java, for the wedding. “I’m happy just to see them in person,” she said, while taking pictures of the First Family from afar. Gibran, wearing a white Javanese suit and black bow tie, made a wedding vow, also known as an ijab kabul in Islamic wedding ceremonies, on Thursday morning at Graha Saba Buana, Sumber, a hall owned by the Jokowi family.

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Megawati Soekarnoputri, the chairwoman of the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) — the political party that backed Jokowi’s election bid — NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh and Maritime and Fisheries Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, were seen at the venue during the ijab kabul ceremony, which was closed to the public but open to film crews from a number of private TV stations.

Jokowi expressed his gratitude to the public after the wedding vow.

“Praise God, the wedding vow went well thanks to your prayers and support. My family and I would like to express our gratitude,” Jokowi said in a brief statement.

A string of Javanese wedding rituals subsequently started at 10 a.m., marking the beginning of the wedding reception. The newlywed pair Gibran and Selvi started their journey as husband and wife during the first ritual, panggih (meeting), which included throwing betel, Gibran stepping on an egg, followed by Selvi washing his foot.

Gibran later poured rice into a cloth held by Selvi in the ritual krobongan or petanen, which symbolizes wealth and prosperity. The pair later sat on the parents’ laps, followed by the pair feeding each other and kneeling before their parents as a sign of respect before they start a new life as husband and wife.

“The ceremony went well and was very spiritual, very touching,” Minister Susi said, adding: “I wish the newlyweds a happy life.” As many as 4,000 police personnel were deployed to secure the wedding.

“I want to directly supervise the security measures. The ceremony is held in one venue but it affected many surrounding areas,” said National Police chief Badrodin Haiti.

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