Jakarta New Year’s Eve: Over 500 say I do in mass wedding

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New Year’s Eve was chosen as the day that over 500 couples said I do so that “if they celebrate their wedding, everyone will celebrate it. The whole world,” said local Governor Anies Baswedan.

The city’s government organized the event for poor families, who often do not have official documents such as birth or marriage certificates.

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A legally-recognized marriage helps parents and children access public services such as healthcare and education.

These couples tied the knot on New Year’s Eve at a free mass wedding held under tents in pouring rain in the capital Jakarta.

Rohilah, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told AFP she was overjoyed that she was now legally married to Dahrun Hakim, with whom she has a four-year-old daughter.

Due to financial constraints, the couple had previously only been married under Islamic law, having been wed by an Imam five years ago — a union not considered official in Indonesia.

The oldest groom at the event was a 76-year-old man and the oldest bride was 65, while the youngest pair was 19 years old.

It was the second time the Jakarta government has held a mass wedding on New Year’s Eve but to respect the victims of recent disasters in the archipelago, fireworks shows have been cancelled.