Jokowi's eldest son prepares to tie the knot


Gibran and his fianc

JAKARTA: The Indonesian city of Surakarta is gearing up to host what could be the most anticipated wedding of the year - between Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, and the 2009 Miss Surakarta, Selvi Ananda.

The wedding will take place on June 11 and the country's VIPs are expected to flock to the town where Jokowi served as mayor for seven years from 2005 to 2012.

VIPs will be provided with 300 becak (pedicabs) from parking lots to the Graha Saba Buana venue, which is owned by Jokowi's family.

"The pedicabs are provided due to the distance between the parking lots and the venue. It will be inappropriate for guests to walk," said Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo on Friday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

A total of 628 security personnel from the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the police – in coordination with the Presidential Security Detail (Paspampres) – will be deployed to safeguard the event, said Surakarta police chief senior commander Achmad Lutfi.

He did not reveal the detail of traffic rerouting in the area of the wedding, but said security was the top priority.

Surakarta transportation, communication and information agency head Yosca Herman Soedrajat said the road in front of the venue would be closed on the day.

The media-shy Gibran has kept his relationship with Selvi private, despite dating for six years.

They met in 2009 when Gibran was a jury member at a pageant where Selvi was a finalist. Selvi emerged as winner of the pageant and Gibran's mother, current First Lady Iriana Widodo – the mayor's wife at that time – placed the crown on her head.

"In Javanese, it's witing tresna jalaran saka kulina (the seeds of love come from intense interactions). Gibran and Selvi experienced that but I don't know when they started dating," Febri Hapsari Dipokusumo, chairwoman of the Solo Pageant Association, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

The frequency of the couple's meetings increased due to Selvi's duties as Miss Surakarta in attending municipality events.

They also met in Singapore when Selvi joined the Solo Batik Carnival delegation for a performance in the neighbouring country, while at the same time Gibran was studying at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

Febri said the relationship was a wish come true for Iriana, who said that she would be happy to have Miss Surakarta as her daughter-in-law.

"I've known her from numerous meetings, especially during her duties as Miss Surakarta at the Loji Gandrung (a historical building for municipality events)," Iriana told the press last month.

The 27-year-old Gibran, the oldest of three siblings, has managed a catering business in Surakarta since 2010.

Meanwhile, Selvi, 26, worked at a local private bank in the town but quit her job after the wedding was announced.

The three-day wedding procession – which includes siraman (washing) and midodareni (eve of the ceremony) events – will start on June 9 and will be organized by Selvi's family.

Jokowi's family will not hold ngunduh mantu, a reception organised by the groom's family according to Javanese customs.

Jokowi's family has requested local designers Tuty Adib and Hanif Aisyah Nanjaya to work on Gibran's and Selvi's attire for the wedding.

According to them, Iriana wanted a simple, classic Javanese look.

The designers revealed that during the reception, the bride was set to wear a classic kuthu baru kebaya while the groom would wear beskap (a formal Javanese suit).

Both outfits will be matched with Sidomukti and Sidomulyo batik fabrics. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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