The Jakarta government organised a free mass wedding for 500 Indonesian couples on New Year’s Eve. The event is held for poor families, specifically those who don’t have official documents such as birth or marriage certificates.
Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan said that a legally recognised marriage helps parents and children access public services such as healthcare and education.
AFP interviewed one of the brides, Rohilah, and she said she was overjoyed that she was now legally married to Dahrun Hakim, with whom she has a four-year-old daughter. Due to financial constraints, the couple had previously only been married under Islamic law – a union not considered official in Indonesia.
“I am happy. I am really happy. Now I can make a birth certificate for my daughter so she will be recognised by the state,” she said.
The oldest groom at the event was a 76-year-old man and the oldest bride was 65, while the youngest pair was 19 years old.
It was the second time the Jakarta government has held a mass wedding on New Year’s Eve but to respect the victims of recent disasters in the archipelago, fireworks shows have been cancelled.
Towns in nearby Banten province, which was hit by a tsunami on Dec 22, killing more than 400 people, have also cancelled their New Year’s celebrations to honour the victims.
Source: Channel News Asia