Growing up, I found it hard to comprehend the need for tradition. What is the point of holding on to customary beliefs when our thoughts and actions are so modernised? It was during the course of prepping for my sissy’s wedding that I came to connect the dots.
Traditions are like the threads that connect the dead and the living.
Traditions are a set of guiding rules our ancestors’ practice when they were alive. It is a way of life and forms the framework of their beliefs. To disown traditions is akin to disregarding their belief system and therefore, acts as a form of disrespect. The dead can no longer come back. It does not matter that we continue with traditions. Yet we continue for the reason that though their bodies no longer reside with us, they are kept alive through our sheer act of keeping with traditions. When we keep to traditions, we keep our ancestors alive. This is what it means to be immortal – to live on in the lives of others.
I was never one to believe in marriage. Acts of betrayal often unfold before my very eyes. Infidelity seemed to be a recurring theme in relationships; only a handful have happy endings. It was conflicting to watch my sissy move on to the next phase of life. I know life has no guarantees, what more a union between two different individuals. As a result, I grew incessantly paranoid that the person I love could be placed in an undesirable situation.
Yet strangely in time, I learned to let go. Perhaps it was age, growing wiser with each passing year. As humans we have limitations and there is just so much we can do to help another. Or perhaps it was the act of faith kicking in. Faith that she is as tenacious and resolute as our mother, standing by her choice with unwavering conviction.
Choose your friends carefully. They are a reflection of you.
No matter the reason, when I met the band of brothers, I was finally reassured. It is often said that people are reflections of their five closest friends. The type of people you surround yourself with speaks of your values and what you stand for. And these guys were a group of fine young men. As with all major events, minor issues were bound to occur. Without the contributions of everyone (brothers, bridesmaids & family members), this day would never have been realised. It required team effort and everyone was a team player. I knew my sissy had found her team and that the members would look out for her. She had finally found her place of belonging.
My parents have been married for 30 years. Recently I asked them what makes a good, lasting marriage.
‘忍!!’ mom replied in a comical manner.
Then turned serious and said, ‘Look more at their strengths and less at their flaws. Bad days happen so it is important to remember the love.’ Dad, on the other hand, faced trouble explaining. He says it contains a myriad of factors but ultimately concludes that, ‘Marriage is a commitment. It requires give and take, and a huge amount of understanding.’
Are there happy endings? A perfect match? The sacred soulmate??
The ‘one’ is a myth. It only means, ‘the one who works to make sure you two fit.’
With that, I wish the newlyweds a blissful marriage. Of an entirely new world filled with a band of colours. May no tough moment set your hearts apart. Till death do us part.
(All photos used are courtesy of Red Dot Studio)
For Part 1 of the series – To My Sister On Her Wedding Day – Part 1 of 4