For my non-Malay friends, this is what ‘Silat Pengantin’ (silat bride) in a Malay wedding looks like.
During the early Malay civilisation, Silat Pengantin was performed in front of the Sultan of a country by a Panglima (commander). The purpose of doing so was to showcase the skills and fighting capabilities of that Panglima,which was important during the era where wars between countries were frequent.
For wedding purposes, Silat is not used against an opponent but rather as aform of respect, blessing and protection.
The Silat Pengantin has to be performed with great respect and etiquette. When performing the Silat Pengantin, care must be taken and the following be observed:
– Movements must be graceful so as to be respectful to the bridal couple.
– There should not be any movements where the back is shown to the bridal couple.
– The feet must not be lifted too high.
– There should not be any “aggressive” movement directed towards the couple.
– Performer should not move to the side of the bridal couple.
– No weapons should be used when performing.
– During the performance,the performer should not make any utterances.
– It is traditionally believed that the Silat Pengantin has to be presented in odd numbers i.e. one, three, five people and so forth.
Source: Osman Sulaiman