Traditional Malay Weddings – Henna staining ceremony (Berinai)

Henna staining ceremony (Berinai)

The ceremony is similar to traditional Indian weddings (Mehndi ceremony).

During this Henna staining Ceremony, yellowish oil, extracted from henna leaves is applied on the fingertips of the couple by friends and relatives. It announces their forthcoming unity.

The Inai is a Malay word for henna, a plant used as dye for the Berinai ceremony. “Ber” in Bahasa Malay means “wear”, thus Berinai means “to wear” or “to put on” henna as a form of temporary skin decoration for the ceremony.

Traditionally, the ceremony is divided into three stages.

  • Berinai Curi is the ceremony where close woman relatives applies the henna to the Bride
  • Berinai Kecil is the ceremony where relatives, friends and neighbours apply the henna to the Bride
  • Berinai Besar is the ceremony where special guests of the couple apply henna to the Bride and Groom

On this day, the costume changes process (tukar pakaian) takes place. The Bride shows off her costume collections, changing five to six times throughout the day, as a sign of good luck.

Her friends and relatives are invited to view her wardrobe.



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