Thousands greet Javanese royal couple
Yogyakarta’s iconic street, Jl. Malioboro, was flooded by some 40,000 onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of Yogyakarta’s new royal couple during their parade for the wedding reception on Tuesday.
Using five royal carts, the entourage of Sultan Hamengkubuwono X’s youngest daughter, Gusti Kanjeng Raden Bendara, and her husband, Kanjeng Pangeran Haryo Yudanegara, left the palace’s Keben gate at 4 p.m.
Riding the Kyai Jong Wiyat cart, the royal couple paraded along Jl. Malioboro to the Bangsal Kepatihan at the gubernatorial office compound located on the same street.
“It’s a relief that I finally saw the royal couple,” said Hartini, 55, of Patalan village in Bantul regency.
“I really wanted to see the couple riding on the sacred cart,” said Martinah, 65, who took her two daughters and grandchild to the parade.
The enthusiasm was evident along Jl. Malioboro since early Tuesday, as celebrants held a so-called “people’s party” to be part of the royal wedding. The street party offered various traditional performances, not only from Yogyakarta, but also from other regions such as East Java and East Nusa Tenggara.
The palace prepared over 150 angkringan carts serving various drinks, snacks and foods for free along the street, which was decorated with janur (young coconut leaves).
The wedding ceremony (ijab qobul) took place at 7 a.m. at the palace’s Panepen Mosque, led by the Sultan himself using honorific Javanese language. Yudanegara — whose original name was Achmad Ubaidillah and who is from Lampung — also said his wedding vows in Javanese. The procession ended with the signing of the prenuptial certificate.
Yudanegara, in a traditional white suit, offered sungkeman (kneeling down to present his respect) to the sultan.
His greeting was followed with the panggih (the meeting of the bride and the groom) ritual at the palace’s Bangsal Kencana verandah at about 10 a.m. Some 2,000 guests — including President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, Vice President Boediono and other VIPs — witnessed the ritual.
Also in attendance were former vice presidents Jusuf Kalla and Hamzah Haz. Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri also came to the palace, but arrived only after Yudhoyono had left.
The panggih ritual included throwing betel leaves, stepping on an egg and the bride washing the groom’s feet. It ended with a pon-dhongan (carrying the bride on top of the groom’s and the bride’s uncle’s arms) ritual to symbolize the husband’s obligation of respecting and protecting his wife.
“I am happy that everything has run smoothly so far as expected,” Sultana GKR Hemas said.
Her eldest daughter, GKR Pembayun agreed. “I also want to extend our gratitude to all Yogyakartans for their participation.”