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The Khataman Ceremony

  The "Khataman" ceremony in Riau is one part of the a series of traditional wedding ceremonies. Generally the "Khataman" ceremony is performed at the house of the would be bride prior to the "akad nikah" ceremony. At the "Khataman" ceremony the bride obliged to read the Juz (section of the Qur'an) Ama, starting from Al-Fatihaah (first chapterof the Qur'an) to Adh-Dhuhaa.
  To prove that in her girlhood she had finished reading the Qur'an so that she can be considered as having received sufficient education in morality adn is it fit to become a pious mother, an example for her future children. At the same time a traditional procession is held to the house of the "Cekgu" or the religious teacher with the purpose that the would-be-bride should pay homage and thank the Cekgu, who had provided her with very valuable knowledge.
  The "Khataman" ceremony was performed sometime ago at the Riau Pavilion, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. The ceremony was preceded by a procession of the bride. Accompanied by her two parents, her religion teacher and friends, the would-be-bride stepped up a raised platform from the procession. Three pieces of rugs or carpets have been spread out on the platform for the participants of the procession to sit on.
  Several ambassadors of foreign countries for Indonesia who were present at that time were also invited to come up the platform to watch from nearby the performance of the "Khataman" ceremony. Forming as semi-circle, the participants of the ceremony sat cross-legged on the floor, around a "bunga telur" (a flowerpot or a vase with flower made of paper and eggs). The would-be-bride sat in the middle, next to her parents and her Cekgu or religion teacher. While in front of her, the Qur'an was laid open, ready to be read. Then the "Qasidah" (religious chants in arabic) players started to sing songs with Islamic themes. A series of "Khataman" ceremonies were held at the bride's house, before the "akad nikah" ceremony next day.

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