Monday, June 25, 2007

Nanjing: The Wedding of the Century

Although the above pictures look more like a bizarre menagerie of images from baijiu-induced dreams, they are actually authentic glimpses at a modern Chinese wedding. A few weekends ago, I was lucky enough to tag along with my roomie and another friend from Shanghai for my roomie's Aunt's (in purple, but she changes costumes) wedding in Nanjing.

The bride worked for a bridal shop and the groom as a driver. The day started when we went over to their apartment, which was PACKED with family members, neighbors, and several unidentifiable onlookers. We saw the crazy wedding suite, full of glossy, early-90s photos of the couple, complete with digitally enhanced sparkles and some crazy up dos. The bride's parents were demoted to a side bedroom and performed a ceremonial handing-over-of-a-red envelope, which in the old days had money. Couples nowadays opt for copyright unfriendly Disney paraphernalia.

The ceremony was held at a hotel and pretty void of religious pomp. But the theme of "enchanted forest prince and princess" (or something along those lines) was carried out by an emcee, who guided me and about 200 Chinese people through an epic story of romance as Chinese pop music throbbed underneath his foreign exclamations. But even if it were in English, I still don't think I would have understood what was going on.

Me and my foreign friend became the unofficial stars of the event - photos were snapped and this B-list local TV celebrity yanked my friend on stage for an awkward dance routine in front of everyone. But before you get all worked up about his scandalous hotness, know that this was a family celebration, which reached its climax when the bride and groom hopped into a cheesecloth-adorned swinging bench, surrounded by children and two strangers in grubby Mickey and Minnie costumes while a fog machine enveloped them in a mist of enchantment. Not to mention the praying to the champagne glass fountain.

The more I study China, the less I understand.

Monday, June 04, 2007

June 4th: 8 years 天安门

A difference of information.

In the rest of the world:
In China: