Symbolic Meanings of Tepak Sirih in Malay Ethnic Weddings Conducted at Desa Mahato Kecamatan Tambusai Utara Kabupaten Rokan Hulu Provinsi Riau


This study aimed to analyze the symbolic meanings of Tepak Sirih in weddings conducted at Desa Mahato Kecamatan Tambusai Utara Kabupaten Rokan Hulu Provinsi Riau, predominantly by the Malay community. Descriptive qualitative methods were applied in the study. Social phenomena occurring naturally were described, with the aim of helping us to understand the world in which we live. The main theory to support this study is the theory of Semiotics. Data collection was through observation, interviews, questionnaires and documentation with 20 key informants consisting of community leaders, scholars and community members. There are seven forms of symbolic meanings in Tepak Sirih: pinang (areca nut), which symbolizes good offspring of good character, honesty and a high degree; kapur (lime), which symbolizes kindness and sincerity, but when in a predicament one will turn aggressive and angry; gambir (gambier), which symbolizes determination; tembakau (tobacco), which symbolizes a steadfast heart and a readiness to sacrifice for all things; cengkih (cloves), which symbolizes the ability to maintain a reputation; sirih (betel Leaves), which symbolizes patience, brotherhood and unity; and kacip (scoop used primarily for gouging areca nut), which symbolizes a mutual agreement in making good decisions. The seven forms of Tepak Sirih are compulsory in the wedding with the main objective being to achieve a happy, harmonious and peaceful life for the bride and bridegroom and their offspring, which is in line with the general concept of marriage.

Keywords: honesty, kindness, self-determination, steadfast, reputation, patience

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