Wednesday, 16 April 2008 11:59 AM

Colourful and Melodious Cultural Wedding of Lord Howe

Marriage ceremony for the people of Lord Howe is colourful as the bride steps out covered in "keauna", better known as turmeric.

"Our culture is similar to many of other Micronesian islands, where it is not only colourful but a lot of singing and dancing as the procession of taking the bride to the groom takes place," Ms. Naku said.

A bride is covered from head to toe in turmeric and would be led to the groom's house by his family who will be singing and dancing all the way.

The groom's people will also arrange the bed for the newly wed couple for their first night.

"It is common practice that the groom's family has to check the arranged bed the day after their first night together for proof that they had indeed shared the bed," Ms. Naku said. "This is part of our culture and is normal for us."

Asked why such invasion of privacy, Ms. Naku explained that this will assure the groom's family that the girl is interested in giving her hand in marriage to their son.

"Of course a bed that is not messy is a negative implication to the groom's family, who will assume that the girl is not keen on the arrangement," Ms. Naku explained.

A messed up bed would be a positive sign and "the man's side will fully welcome their sister-in-law into the family".

"All traditional marriage procedure is also expected of an outsider who marries a man from Lord Howe, no exception is given," Ms. Naku said.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province