A shocking video showing a wedding ceremony between a 16-year-old boy and his 71-year-old lover has emerged. The teenager and his elderly female lover had faced objections when they decided they wanted to get married but they swore to kill themselves if they were not allowed to be together and their families finally gave in.
The video shows Selamat Riayadi marrying his bride Rohaya. It starts with him holding a microphone, reciting what is believed to be his marital vows. As soon as he is done, guests give a loud cheer for the new couple. The young groom is seen with his hand to his face as soon as their union is proclaimed; making it impossible to know what he is feeling. His wife, on her part, sat quietly beside him, her expression unreadable. It is not clear what motivated their marriage. Money has been ruled out as both newlyweds are equally poor.
Selamat’s family made a dowry payment of 200,000 Indonesian Rupiah (about £11.50) to Rohaya’s family. The wedding held at the home of a local community leader named as Kuswoyo. Many people doubted the authenticity of the wedding after the video spread. But an Indonesian news outlet claims it spoke to Kuswoyo who confirmed the marriage. He also disclosed that the couple threatened to kill themselves if they were barred from marrying.
He said: “They said they wanted to commit suicide because they were completely in love, so if one of them dies, then both must die.”
Rohaya had been married twice and also widowed twice. It is Selamat’s first marriage. The official minimum age for boys to marry in Indonesia is 19 but a loophole allows for any marriage within a person’s “religious norms”.