Weddings and other Shenanigans
Trip Start Feb 27, 2013
44Trip End Ongoing
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Back to the main section of the post: I am now an official wedding crasher; attending a wedding of a couple I still don't know the names of, though, from my extensive research of the movie, I think most wedding crashers are supposed to be a little more discreet and better at blending in than I was.
I went shopping in a new place called Solana in English, but Blue Harbour Bay in Chinese translated
The next day, Vesliana took me and our Japanese classmate Ai to a Chinese wedding. Vesliana's boyfriend Jing Jing is a Chinese man, whose job it is to organise and film weddings, so he invited us to see how Chinese people get married. He took us out to Karaoke on Friday night, so we could all get to know each other, and have some fun before the wedding. We were up early on the Saturday morning, and Jing Jing drove us out to the old Hu Tong on the outskirts of Beijing. We were quite far from the city centre, so needless to say, I was quite a novelty there with my light hair and skin. The children followed me around all day, and I could hear the older guests whispering as I walked past.
The wedding began at 10:30am, with the bride wearing a Western style white wedding dress. They bride and groom are technically already married, so the ceremony is just for show. The ceremony was performed by one of Jing Jing’s friends, who works as a singer, but also officiates weddings. The ceremony was full of symbolic gestures, such as lighting a heart shaped candle, pouring wine into glasses to make a fountain, and a family hug with both sets of parents. Some observers were standing, others were sitting, as there was not any pews or rows of seating. There were just round tables with stools on the side, so if you wanted to see the ceremony from directly in front, then you would have to stand behind the cameraman, in the aisle. I was also very surprised with how casual the guests were dressed; most people were in jeans and a T-shirt
After the ceremony was finished in 15 minutes, the bride and groom exited the venue. The guests then turned around to those round tables at the side, and picked them up and arranged them around the place. Red plastic table cloths were thrown over the wooden tables, and the stools were placed around them. There was no seating chart, and everybody just sat wherever there was a chair. We sat on our own table in the corner, and waited for lunch to come out. Our table was so full that dishes were stacked on top of each other. It was all cooked in an outside kitchen, and passed through the window of the hall to one of the servers. The food was very delicious and I tried some things before I hadn’t tasted here yet. Each table also had cartons of cigarettes, and Bai Jiu, the Chinese alcohol which is over 40% pure alcohol. It may be the worst tasting thing I have ever tried, purely because it is so strong it tastes like nail polish remover. As the food was served, the bride and groom reappeared, this time with the bride wearing a traditional Chinese red dress.
One thing I took out of the wedding was that I think often back home, weddings are such a huge event, that we spend months and months planning to make the day perfect. We make sure that every detail from the font used on the invitations to the ribbon holding the bouquets together are matching and beautiful