Updated: Apr 22, 2020
The current outbreak of COVID 19 has been declared a pandemic by the world health organization. COVID has spread around the world. A billion people are struggling to cope with lockdown as health services. The government also recommends people to avoid crowded places and make a physical distance from others. The institution of quarantine practices, lockdowns, and border controls, takes hold in global impacts, including a couple of wedding celebrations. All of the wedding organizer's clients had decided to postpone their wedding plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Lots of couples have the unfortunate shared circumstance of being due to the ongoing COVID outbreaks. Lately, my cousin also chose to postpone her marriage because of the COVID pandemic.
In the US, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended gatherings with not more than 50 people, including weddings, for at least eight weeks. In Indonesia, the Ministry of Religion regulates marriage protocols to prevent coronavirus infection or COVID-19.
A covenant procession can be held but the number of those attending may not be more than 10 people, so the wedding area will not be too crowded. The wedding industry faces an unprecedented challenge, with brides-to-be, who have already spent thousands on non-refundable deposits, caught in the crossfire. Besides that, there are still many family couples who insist on holding a wedding pickle until it ends in a forced dissolution by the police force.
Police officers from the Pamboang Police Station, Majene Regional Police were forced to disperse a wedding reception ceremony for a resident. The dissolution was carried out because the reception ignored the call to not hold a crowded event amidst the government's prevention of the spread of the Corona COVID-19 virus. A bride even fainted when she found out her family was forbidden from entering the celebration location in Demak Regency, Central Java (CNN Indonesia.com). The marriage ceremony is perceived by many as the most important element of passage in one's life, one that results in a change in the life of the individual about his or her family and society (Koren 2006: 17). Javanese traditional marriage traditions are prominent in Javanese society. For Javanese people, marriage is considered a sacred momentum that occurs once in their lives.
Therefore, a wedding is a very important event in Indonesian culture and is considered the starting point of a new aspect of a person's life, therefore normally everyone wants to help the couple celebrate this occasion (Sutardjo, 2008). Indonesians are truly honored by attendance at a wedding. Attending shows that you care, that you respect the people involved and your relationship with them. On the other hand, neither responding to the invitation nor attending a wedding can cause a significant insult and slight to the giver, which can cause problems in your relationship in the future (expat.or.id)
For western people, marriage means finding a congenial, everlasting life partner; thus, they can get satisfaction physically, mentally and socially. In the western world, individualism is so popular; they think marriage is just two people combine and not a business of others. The foundation of marriage is love and deeply attracted and attached. Therefore, a lot of silver weddings and golden weddings appear. In their view, a marriage without love is a bad marriage, a low-quality marriage. So, pursuing true love is the most vital marriage purpose for the majority.
With different cultural backgrounds, it can be predicted that there are differences in psychological dynamics experienced by couples in the collectivist and individualist countries during the COVID pandemic 19.
Psychological dynamics such as excessive shyness, anxiety, sadness, will be more felt by marriage partners in Indonesia than in a western country such as the US during COVID pandemic. Some brides even fainted when she found out her family was forbidden from entering the celebration of Indonesia. While the news of the wedding ceremony held in the US and other western countries tends to express disappointment and try to postpone the wedding celebration.
Therefore, psychological assistance is needed for the marriage partner so that the couple does not experience depression because their wedding is beyond expectations. It is important to be empathetic and compassionate in this issue. Try to keep the marriage couple calm and keeping their fears. Environmental support such as family support is also very important so that the bride and groom can accept the condition because of the pandemic.
Written by: Tzurayya Syarif Zain, 28, Indonesia
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-CNNIndonesia.com. (30 Maret 2020). Hajatan Dibatalkan, Pengantin Pingsan. https://www.cnnindonesia.com/tv/20200330142225-404-488274/video-hajatan-dibatalkan-pengantin-pingsan
-Liputan6.com. (30 Maret 2020). Resepsi Pernikahan di Majene Dibubarkan Polisi. https://www.liputan6.com/regional/read/4214450/resepsi-pernikahan-di-majene-dibubarkan-polisi
-Permatasari, A.F & Wijaya, M. (2017). Perubahan Perilaku Masyarakat Jawa dalam Penyelenggaraan Resepsi Pernikahan di Kota Surakarta. Jurnal Analisa Sosiologi: April 2017, 6(1): 65-81.
-Yang, Xiaoling. (2018). On the Marriage Differences between China and Western Countries. Case Studies Journal ISSN (2305-509X) – Volume 7, Issue 8–Aug-2018.
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