Date: December 3, 2018
By: Ciara Nugent
Chinese authorities are trying to put a end to the country’s increasingly extravagant wedding culture, saying it goes against “socialist core values” and reflects “declining morality.”
Chinese weddings have featured elaborate rituals and traditions for thousands of years. But officials say modern ceremonies have gotten out of control, with competition between couples prompting ever-more lavish celebrations, expensive gifts and extreme rituals for “hazing” the bride and groom.
The tradition of hazing, originally seen as a way to drive away evil spirits, has grown particularly extreme in recent years, with grooms, brides and bridesmaids subjected to sometimes violent pranks.
In November, a man in southern China was hospitalized after being hit by a car as he tried to escape his friends’ hazing ritual. The South China Morning Postreported that he had been tied to an electric pole and beaten with a strip of bamboo.
Families in rural areas have also been setting massive “bride prices” – sums of money given to a bride’s family by the groom’s parents. In Hubei province, The Guardian reports, local officials have already intervened after bride prices reached almost $30,000 – around ten times the average average yearly wage in the area. [FULL STORY]