A 16-year-old boy named Selamat Riayadi has stirred a lot of controversy in Indonesia after he tied the knot with his 71-year-old sweetheart, Rohaya.
According to reports, the controversial marriage took place after the couple threatened to kill themselves if they were barred from marrying.
The couple also said their love for each other was so strong they would commit suicide together if the wedding wasn’t given the go ahead because ‘they were so completely in love, if one of them dies then both must die’.
Dailymail reports that their marriage is not believed to be motivated by money, as both newlyweds are equally poor.It was also gathered that Selamat’s family made a dowry payment to Rohaya’s family of 200,000 Indonesian Rupiah, worth about £11.50 (N4,800).
The wedding was held in the home of a local community leader named Kuswoyo. After initially showing skepticism towards the relationship, Kuswoyo, reportedly granted permission.
A video footage from their wedding shows the teen groom put his face in his hands as the union is proclaimed, his expression unreadable. He and his elderly bride sit quietly, as the wedding guests go wild with delight.
After the video and photos of the wedding went viral on social media, many questioned whether the union was real.
But an Indonesian news outlet claims it spoke to one Kuswoyo who confirmed both the marriage and the couple’s threats to kill themselves if if their families blocked their union.
”They said they wanted to commit suicide because they were completely in love, so if one of them dies, then both must die,” he said.
Kuswoyo’s permission was needed according to local tradition, as Rohaya had been widowed twice before. Both he and her brother gave in to her wishes to wed following the couple’s suicide threats.
It was not clear who if anyone gave permission for Selamat to marry. Information gathered revealed that 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”.