MEDAN • "I am about to be a member of a big Batak family," Indonesian President Joko Widodo said with a smile, after inaugurating two toll roads in Medan, North Sumatra, last Friday.
The President was beaming with pride as he spoke of the upcoming nuptials of his only daughter, Ms Kahiyang Ayu, to Mr Bobby Afif Nasution, who is an ethnic Batak from Medan.
For Mr Joko, the marriage means that he will be able to visit North Sumatra more frequently, not only in his capacity as state leader but also as the father-in-law of a Batak man, he said, triggering laughter in the attending crowd.
After the inauguration, Mr Joko and First Lady Iriana headed to the home of Mr Bobby's family in Medan on their first visit to their daughter's future in-laws.
Mr Joko, however, remained tight-lipped about the meeting, which lasted about one hour.
The wedding ceremony is scheduled to take place in Mr Joko's home town of Surakarta in Central Java on Nov 8.
The engagement of Ms Kahiyang and Mr Bobby, both 26, was announced in June when the two appeared in pre-wedding photos on Instagram. The couple dated for about a year when they met in 2015 while studying for a master's degree at Bogor Agricultural University in Bogor, West Java.
Mr Bobby is the son of the late Erwin Nasution, former director of state-run plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara IV.
In Surakarta, preparations for the wedding have already taken place.
Mr Abdullah Usman, general manager of Adi Soemarmo International Airport in Surakarta, said at least 30 chartered jets carrying Mr Joko's guests are expected to land at the airport. Commercial airlines are also likely to add flights for Nov 8.
"In 2015, 26 chartered jets and four narrow-body aircraft landed here," Mr Abdullah said, referring to the wedding reception of Mr Joko's oldest son, Mr Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who married Ms Selvie Ananda, also from Surakarta.
Most rooms in the city's four-and five-star hotels had also been booked for several days before and after the wedding.
"Demand has increased since the wedding was announced," said Sunan Hotel Solo general manager Retno Wulandari, adding that guests who had booked rooms at the hotel included Mr Joko's Cabinet ministers and presidential staff.
THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK