Marjolijn poses with the bride and groom. Derawan (Borneo, Indonesia). July 2009.

The bride and groom of Derawan

  Borneo [Malaysia and Indonesia] - July 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

My short stay on the small Indonesian island of Derawan last July allowed me to attend no less than two weddings! Two almost identical weddings, with kitsch decoration and pop-mallow orchestra. More of a social obligation, I feel, than a real party.

A video, two weddings

Anyway, I wouldn't like to get married in Derawan!

You have to disguise yourself as a doll, wearing a headdress, wearing make-up, over-pumped. Then hold the hours pose on a throne in a candy pink or electric blue decor. Welcome with a smile all the people of the village who parade on the platform (since they all drop a small ticket in a vase provided for this purpose).

And pretending to enjoy the music of the guest group ...

Strange "wedding party"

What we do not see on the video are the rows of plastic chairs and planks acting as tables, set up in front of the platform, under a vast tarpaulin.

Nobody dances, people just sit there and watch.

Everyone received a small meal in a cardboard box, with a cup of water. Offered by the families of the newlyweds. But no one eats, most will bring back his portion of nasi goreng (fried rice) and his cupcakes at home.

For the guests, the show consists of sitting in a plastic chair watching the bride and groom on the platform ... (Derawan, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2009.)
For the guests, the show consists of sitting in a plastic chair watching the bride and groom on the platform ... (Derawan, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2009.)

Strange "wedding party", really. It starts around 9:00 and ends a little before midnight. There's not much going on. Pretty dull evening... I guess the real wedding ceremony takes place at another time.

Once settled on his plastic chair, everyone sits quietly there. One simply waits for one's turn to rise on the platform, to greet the newlyweds with a quick handshake, or more cordial according to the degree of proximity or affection that one has with the family.

We do not hesitate to have their picture taken by their side. This is obviously part of the politeness appreciated, with the small note deposited in the vase.

The married "blue". (Derawan, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2009.)
The "blue" bride and groom. (Derawan, Borneo, Indonesia, July 2009).

I resisted the solicitations of a lot of people who absolutely wanted to push me to the platform for the famous photo ...

Marjolijn, a young Dutch girl with whom I sympathized, did not miss any opportunity to ask at each wedding (see photos below).

She tells that on his own blog (in English).


Like her, what surprised me the most is the musical animation, if I may say so.

Especially that of the second marriage. As a reminder, we are in Muslim country. I found it very curious to see the scene of these three female singers dressed up and very short dressed, who began to wiggle as in a video clip. Without beguiling, it was flashy and vulgar.

Admittedly, Islam is rather relaxed on an island like Derawan: not all women are veiled, far from it, and the girls play volleyball every night, bareheaded, in simple Bermuda shorts and T-shirts. But still, these three chicks on stage didn't fit in with the rest.


  Borneo [Malaysia and Indonesia] - July 2009

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. « potiches de balluche local », c’est quoi ce vocabulaire ? 😆 Fais gaffe, tu risques de te faire remarquer par Elle (ou Marie-Claire ?). Quoique. Ne vaut-il pas mieux des Barbies libérées que des dauphines de mariées en voile intégral ? 😈 👿
    Well, I voted for you in the Info Cup contest. Eyes closed. I did not even see other sites. The Honteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!
    Richard de-dans Evreux ou ki fait froué 😀

  2. @Richard: 😀 Tu as raison, ce n’est pas très sympa pour ces trois filles… Mais je te jure qu’elles juraient carrément avec l’ambiance, dans ce minuscule village, point trop tradi mais point trop libéré non plus.
    Merci pour ton clic, et pas la peine de jeter un œil aux autres blogs, qui ramasseront facilement plein de votes, vu qu’ils sont pour la plupart hébergés sur des sites d’infos à gros trafic, sans comparaison avec la modeste audience de mes Petites Bulles… 😉

  3. => Je vote pour le couple rose 😀
    The groom is very classy 8)
    Pour la musique, c’est un peu comme le rosé de Provence : faut consommer sur place 😉

  4. @Alimata: Me too, the pink couple is my favorite. As I am nice, I pruned the worst, question music. Unlike her fellow singers and musicians, the young woman we hear at the beginning had a melodious voice. I finally kept the intro of this piece that cut nicely with the rotten and dripping pop made in Asia that they had served us before.

  5. Hello again,

    I wanted to ask you a few technical questions (if it does not take too much time!) So, I'm thinking of going to Worldpress (I have a blog on over-blog) and I was wondering if this was possible to update from anywhere in the world. Because I understood that it was necessary to install software on his computer. So, first of all, do you have to work from your station? Should we lug around with an FTP client? In clear, in nomadic mode, is WorldPress handicapping?

    Finally, are you herber at a blog platform that accepts worldpress?

    In passing your site is really nice!
    Thank you and have a nice day under the snow!


  6. Bon, ok, pas de sujet sur Noël en Asie…. 😥

    But, I'm getting impatient ... what will be the next? ❓

  7. @Fabrice: You'll see by browsing my Little Bubbles elsewhere, that I update this blog while I'm traveling, from anywhere, from my own computer as a self-service computer, whatever ... Just enough to be connected to the internet to publish a new ticket, as with any weblog.
    I think you confuse software to install on your computer, and files to install on a hosting.

    • WordPress with hosting »In fact, it is only at the beginning, if you make the choice to use WordPress on your own hosting, that you obviously need a software ftp to upload all the files necessary to the operation of the blog (there is for example FileZilla, which is free). For my part, I am hosted at OVH, which accepts WordPress without problem. Afterwards, updates and publications of tickets are made via the web, without the need for software other than an Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.).

    • WordPress without hosting »But you can also use WordPress without hosting, without having anything to install. It works on simple registration, as with Over-Blog or other (the thing is that it allows less customization after, except to pay for additional options).

    In short, WordPress is not at all disabling in nomadic mode, it's quite the opposite. It's a really great tool, I think.

    @ Helen: Unfortunately I have a problem with this new geolocation function, very nice, but that seems to work well under Firefox and Safari, not under Internet Explorer (the logo to click does not appear). I will try to solve that.
    [EDIT »That's it, it works under IE !!! I forgot, stupidly, to close a tag in the code ... pfff]

    Finally, I do not really see the point of writing about Christmas in Asia: I have never experienced it myself, so I have nothing special to say about it, except to post on travelers who have spent Christmas abroad, such as this one, by Marie-Julie Gagnon:
    " Christmas elsewhere (update: this page does not exist anymore).
    In addition, I had already made a wink about it, in this post that I published last year, from the photo of someone you know well:
    " Same same but different

  8. @ Hélène from Mauritius: Ça m’étonnerait beaucoup que je passe Noël sous la neige ou même dans un paysage enneigé… La neige a déjà fondu. 🙄

  9. Thank you for your answer.

    But with an accommodation, no example at OVH (you have a domain name and accommodation at home?), You still need to walk with a ftp for updates no?

    Otherwise it is possible to use Worldpress at overblog? We have a lot of features in this case? Can we use the theme artemia for example?


  10. @Fabrice: I'm answering your questions here, but it would be better for you to write to me privately for the details of all this, or to consult the WordPress page who explains things well ...

    • Yes, I have my domain name + my hosting at OVH.
    • No, no need for Ftp for updates, whether WordPress files (the procedure is done online, one click, automatically from version 2. I-do-not-more-how ) or those of your notes. Same plugins and extensions, for the most part, we now update them online from the Admin.
    • I do not think it's possible to install a WordPress platform at Overblog !!! Unless Overblog is also hosting only, without installation of their blogging platform? Your question puzzles me: it's as if you wanted to put a car engine in another car that already has its own engine ... Anyway, you can install WordPress at any host, in principle, the moment that it offers basic hosting functions (php5, databases, etc.)

  11. Ok, well understood! I especially wanted to know, in the case of an accommodation other than, whether to use an FTP for the updates. Apparently not.

    Well, I have some work to do!

    Merry Christmas!


  12. @Fabrice: C’est WordPress (pas Worldpress)… 😉
    Small clarifications, so that everything is clear (will have to resume all this in my dedicated section): is not an "accommodation". is an online blogging service that uses the WordPress "engine". This service, or blog platform, accessible for the French version via the url below, works much on the same principle as,,, etc. We register online, and we then have access to "ready-to-use", ready-to-run templates of blogs, which only offer customizations, functions, and standard storage spaces (except in their paid versions).

    WordPress is a blog "engine". There are others, like Movable Type, Dotclear, etc. This "engine" is a collection of computer files that work together as software. To be able to use them, they must be placed somewhere, in a virtual space connected to the Internet, which will "serve" the result (the blog) to the people who connect to it. To establish this connection, you need a domain name (which plays the role of a key, a signpost, an address). It is this "virtual space" that is called hosting. There are many hosting offers, at all prices, depending on the needs (bandwidth, storage space, complex databases or not, computer language required, etc.). The WordPress engine files can be downloaded for free via the URL below. Once recovered, they must be deposited (via a sending software, the famous software ftp) in the accommodation we have chosen. Once they are there, it's good, the engine can start. Ditto for customizing functions: we add via FTP small additional files, called extensions or plugins. The WordPress "engine", in its current version 2.9, is now on its own to make its updates, as well as most extensions. No need to return new files via ftp.