Indonesian princess weds in historical sultanate
An Indonesian princess married her prince on Tuesday in the historical sultanate of Yogyakarta.
Jakarta: An Indonesian princess married her prince on Tuesday in the historical sultanate of Yogyakarta.
Princess Nurastuti Wijareni, 25, married 29-year-old Achmad Ubaidillah in a traditional Javanese-Muslim ceremony attended by more than 2,000 guests that included the Indonesian president.
Yogyakarta, around 400 kilometres southeast of Jakarta in the centre of Java island, is one of Indonesia`s last remaining sultanates, where the sultan acts also as the special region`s governor.
The groom, a commoner, works at the office of Indonesia`s vice president.
Din Syamsudin, chairman of Indonesia`s Muhammadiyah Muslim organisation, described the ceremony as a grand cultural expression that should be preserved.
It was "a cultural treasure that should also be revitalised, so that future generations continue to understand and love their own culture," he said.
Tens of thousands lined the streets in the afternoon to greet the couple, who were married at the sultan`s 200-year-old palace in a ceremony led by the bride`s father, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X.
Guests made offerings of banana wrapped in golden paper and flower arrangements to symbolise the sacred bond of marriage and to wish the couple a happy life together.
The groom arrived in a traditional horse-drawn Javanese carriage and sat next to his bride, as they recited their marriage vows before the sultan.
At the end of the ceremony, the couple threw betel leaves at each other to symbolise two hearts uniting.
Indonesia`s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last year criticised the sultanate, encouraging the region to begin free elections for the governorship.