Online Chatting Leads to Virtual Wedding
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Rita Sri Mutiara Dewi's fiance could not get time off from his job in the United States. But that didn't stop the couple - who have never met in person - from tying the knot on Thursday.
And a Muslim cleric who witnessed the ceremony between the Indonesian lovers declared it legal, she said, even though they were on opposite ends of the earth.
"We are happy that we're married now, even though we had to do it via the Internet," said Dewi, 50, noting that the two used a video link so her relatives could see her 52-year-old groom.
Dewi met Wiriadi, a physiotherapist who works at a hospital in California, in an Internet chat room several months ago. They exchanged pictures and contacted each other almost every day, she said, speaking usually online but other times by phone.
In November Wiriadi proposed. Over the Internet, of course.
Dewi, who works as a teacher in Malaysia, returned to Indonesia for the virtual wedding. Wiriadi, who uses only one name, was in California. It was the second marriage for both. Dewi said Friday she plans to travel to the United States next month to meet her new husband.
"It seems that this is larger than I am. More than I can handle. Yet I know that I am being carried, for I am not strong enough to carry myself. I do not have the answers now but one day I will know and understand and maybe one day I will help to carry another." Joanne Cacciatore~