IAS WP 47 Malay Traditional Wedding Ceremonies in Brunei

Nur E’zzati Rasyidah binti Haji Abdul Samad


Brunei Darussalam is a Malay and Islamic state that is well known for its various local cultural heritage and Adat (customs and traditions) that are steadfastly maintained until today. Adat is considered to be one of the most significant local practices that reflects the unique identity and foundation of Brunei Malay society and culture. It is part of being Calak Brunei and has been carried out and passed down from one generation to another. Adat functions as a social, political and cultural marker of Brunei Malay society. However, with exposure to and influence of Islamisation in Brunei Darussalam, there has been a decline in the performance and practice of Adat especially in Malay traditional marriage customs as some of these customs are seen to be religiously incompatible. This paper explores and understand the extent to which tension and conflict between Adat and Islam exist in practices in the Malay traditional marriage ceremonies of Brunei. It will also take into account the various changes and negotiations made to accommodate Adat within Islamic practices and values.


Malay traditional marriage ceremonies, Brunei, adat, Islam, conflict, changes


Nur E’zzati Rasyidah recently graduated with a B.A. Hons in Sociology/Anthropology, Universiti Brunei Darussalam and is currently writing her M.A. thesis in car ownership in Brunei.

Contact: ezzatisamad24@hotmail.com

Editorial Board of the Working Paper Series:

Professor Lian Kwen Fee, Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Dr. F. Merlin Franco, Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

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