The Indonesian city of Solo, and possibly the entire country, came to a standstill for more than an hour on Wednesday (Nov 8) to witness President Joko Widodo marry off his only daughter Kahiyang Ayu to property firm director Bobby Nasution.
The akad nikah, an Islamic solemnisation ceremony, was attended by more than 7,000 guests, comprising the who’s who of Indonesia, while millions tuned in to the live broadcast of the event on television.
In addition to the official guests, thousands of people from Solo, as well as many who travelled from the capital Jakarta, Bandung, in West Java, and elsewhere were at Graha Saba Buana grandhall, hoping to join the celebrations.
Among the distinguished guests were Singapore Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Anil Kumar Nayar and his wife Peck See, Mr Joko’s Cabinet members, former presidents Megawati Sukarnoputri and Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as well as the wife of the late president Abdurrahman Wahid, former First Lady Sinta Nuriyah.
We also want to celebrate. We are happy for them. We pray and hope the reception runs smoothly and the couple will be together until they are grandparents.
MR SARWONO, 62, a vegetable seller who got together with about 40 other traders for prayers and tumpeng.
They also include religious leaders as well as politicians such as House Speaker Setya Novanto, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, Nasdem Party chief Surya Paloh, businessman Chairul Tandjung and celebrity chef Arnold Poernomo.
The First Family were dressed in traditional Javanese formal wear - beskap for Mr Joko, and his sons Gibran Rakabuming Raka, 29, and Kaesang Pangarep, 22, and kebaya for First Lady Iriana - as they welcomed guests.
The bride and groom later arrived separately in horse-drawn carriages, surrounded by presidential bodyguards.
Security was tight with about 5,500 police officers and soldiers deployed around the city, where other celebrations and traditional ceremonies leading up to yesterday’s main event, had been held since the weekend.
Ms Kahiyang and Mr Bobby, both 26, were officially married at 9am local time, with Vice-President Jusuf Kalla acting as witness for the bride, while Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, was witness for the groom.
“Thank you to sirs, madams, relatives and friends, for your prayers and blessings for the wedding of Kahiyang Ayu and Muhammad Bobby Afif Nasution, may Allah be pleased with our prayers,” said Mr Joko after the ceremony.
His predecessor, Dr Yudhoyono, who was at the wedding with his son Agus, praised the way local traditions were celebrated during the marriage ceremony.
“This is a way to cherish and respect our culture,” he told reporters. “Congratulations to the bride and groom, may they be together for eternity and be blessed, and congratulations to Pak Jokowi and Ibu Iriana.”
The couple first met in 2015 when they were in graduate school at the Bogor Agricultural University in Bogor, West Java. They are said to have dated for about a year.
Ms Kahiyang is the President’s middle child while Mr Bobby, a Batak, is the son of the late Erwin Nasution, a former director of state-owned plantation firm Perkebunan Nusantara IV, who died in January.
The Bataks are an ethnic group predominantly from North Sumatra, where the couple will travel to for receptions in Mr Bobby’s hometown in the provincial capital Medan, later this month.
Wednesday’s nuptials also dominated social media, with many tweets, posts, videos and photos going viral with the hashtag #jokowimantu. Mantu is slang for acquiring an in-law, in this case, Mr Joko’s new son-in-law Mr Bobby.