Archive for the ‘Chinese Culture’ Category

A Wedding Ceremony in Beijing

Friday, August 31st, 2018
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Civil wedding ceremonies go on everyday in Beijing. Spring and summer are the most popular time of year for weddings.

Today at the invitation of one of my former university classmates – Mr. Jiang, I take part in his son’s marriage ceremony held in the Golden Hall at the Building C of Beijing Hotel.

Most of the grand wedding reception options are outsourced to wedding planning companies that have professional teams in charge of venues, flowers, caterers, photographers, dresses, clothes hire, car rental and the list goes on…

His son’s civil ceremony is no exception considering the fact that over 350 participants are present for the reception, not an easy task for coordination.

The guests are assembling in the lobby and signing at the registration desk with beautiful background music played. While registering, guests would presents theirs red envelopes ( with money inside) or gifts to the bride and the groom.

4 girls play string instruments welcoming the guests in the lobby leading up to the entrance to the Golden Hall, the venue for the wedding reception.

4 girls play string instruments welcoming

4 girls play string instruments welcoming

The Golden Hall at Beijing Hotel is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies in Beijing. The hall can hold as many as 500 people with a mixed decor style of tradition and modernity.

The host table is just set in front of the delicately adorned platform flanked by two video projection screens

The host table is just set in front of the delicately adorned platform

The host table is just set in front of the delicately adorned platform

In the middle of the hall is the long love corridor adorned with flowers and crystal pendants. The groom will walk through the corridor and greet his bride at the other end and walk her back to the platform.
In th middle of the hall is the long love corridor adorned with flowers and crystal pendants

In th middle of the hall is the long love corridor adorned with flowers and crystal pendants

Each table is decorated with a flower stand and piled with drinks, wines, appetizers and cold dishes.
Each table is decorated with a flower stand and piled with drinks, wines and appetizers and cold dishes

Each table is decorated with a flower stand and piled with drinks, wines and appetizers and cold dishes

Here come the three pairs of bridesmaids and best men arm in arm walking to the plantform through the love corridor.
Here come the three pairs of bridemaids and best men arm in arm walking to the planform through the love corridor.

Here come the three pairs of bridesmaids and best men arm in arm walking to the planform through the love corridor.

An officiant is presiding over the ceremony from the beginning to the end.
The officiant is presiding over the ceemony from the beginning to the end.

An officiant is presiding over the ceremony from the beginning to the end.

The groom is walking through the love corridor blowing his saxophone from the platform to the other end of the flowers adorned corridor to meet her bride.
The groom is walking through the love corridor blowing his saxophone

The groom is walking through the love corridor blowing his saxophone

Arm in arm, the bride and the groom are embarking on their love passage – the flower decorated long corridor.
Arm im arm, the bride and the groom are embarking on their love passage

Arm in arm, the bride and the groom are embarking on their love passage

The bride and the groom are happily walking through the love corridor arm in arm.
The bride and the groom are happily walking through the love

The bride and the groom are happily walking through the love

Two children are arranged in the wedding ceremony in very memory making ways.  The exchange of rings
Kissing in front of all the guests
Kissing in front of all the guests

Kissing in front of all the guests

Both parents of the bride and groom are smiling from the bottom of their hearts.
Both parents of the bride and groom are similing from the bottom of their hearts.

Both parents of the bride and groom are smiling from the bottom of their hearts.

The bride and the groom and their parents are up on the platform
The bride and the groom and their parents are up on the platform

The bride and the groom and their parents are up on the platform

The groom’s father, Mr. Jiang is making a short speech in the ceremony and hands down their family’s Instructions: if the family lives in harmony, all affairs will prosper.
Mr. Jiang is making a short speech in the ceremony and hands down their family's Instructions

Mr. Jiang is making a short speech in the ceremony and hands down their family’s Instructions

About 350 guests are attending the wedding reception.
About 350 guests are attending the wedding reception.

About 350 guests are attending the wedding reception.

The projection screen is putting on a VCR about the bride and groom’s love story.
The projection screen is putting on a VCR about the bride

The projection screen is putting on a VCR about the bride

Recreational performances are put on to entertain the guests
Recreational performances are put on to entertain the guests

Recreational performances are put on to entertain the guests

Caterers are busy serving the guests in the course of the civil ceremony.
Caterers are busy serving the guests in the course of the civil ceremony.

Caterers are busy serving the guests in the course of the civil ceremony.

The bride and the groom are coming to each table to make a toast.
The bride and the groom is coming to each table to make a toast.

The bride and the groom is coming to each table to make a toast.

For me, the wedding ceremony is more a networking occasion than a civil wedding reception.

Make a living in China

Thursday, July 4th, 2013
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For many ordinary Chinese, to make a living is still not easy, based on several factors such as tough job markets, large population, rising cost of living, changing life style, the internet, influx of migrant workers and the list goes on… If you make a China tour, you will discern plentiful outdated modes of earning a living in China, and the toil and hardship behind all the common people at grass roots. Some people cannot keep pace with the fast changing internet age and stick to the areas where they are familiar and feel comfortable; others favor the traditional way of doing things.
 
While so-called beauty salons are getting more and more popular, the traditional haircut still has its market demand – retired people, pensioners, low income families who still need the basic simple haircut. Nearly half the barbers are women. Now the female barber gives haircut and grooming.
the female barber gives haircut and grooming.

the female barber gives haircut and grooming.

 
The site of the travelling salesperson bring us to the old days, to our childhood years. The traveling salesperon is passing through the strees in traditional chinese clothes.
The site of the travelling salesperson bring us to the old days

The site of the travelling salesperson bring us to the old days

 
 
Taking a richshaww and wind through the lanes and streets
Taking a richshaww and wind through the lanes and streets

Taking a richshaww and wind through the lanes and streets

 
 
 
Migrant Workers is happily working
Migrant Workers is happily working

Migrant Workers is happily working

 
 
A stonemason is working on his products
A stonemason is working on his products

A stonemason is working on his products

 
 
Carrying the loads of mulberry for sale
Carrying the load of mulberry for sale

Carrying the load of mulberry for sale

 
A job of Drawing customers
A job of Drawing customers

A job of Drawing customers

 
A tongman
A tongman

A tongman

 
 
Wooden Buckets Making
Wooden Buckets Making

Wooden Buckets Making

 
Sewing
Sewing

Sewing

 
Carving chops
Carving chops

Carving chops

 
Making keys
Making keys

Making keys

 
Bamboo baskets making
Bamboo baskets making

Bamboo baskets making

The Beautiful Duanwu Festival is Celebrated with Splendor

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
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Since 2008, the Dragon Boat Festival has been recognized as an official holiday inChina. People participate in Dragon Boat racing and many other activities and this is one of the oldest festivals celebrated inChina. It is so old that today no one is absolutely sure about the origins of this festival. There are many stories surrounding its beginnings but none of them is conclusive enough. But the festival is among the most important festivals celebrated in the country today which is marked by festivities and joy.

Duanwu Festival and its Popularity

The Duanwu Festival involves one of the most popular celebrations in China. This festival has only recently been recognized as the state festival in mainland China. It is also hugely popular in Taiwan, Singaporeand Malaysia. This festival occurs in June and hence many students in the country during that time can participate in one of the oldest festivals. In the Chinese calendar, it occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month in a year. However this date translates to dates in June which are 10 to 20 days apart. The dates change every year; for example, the festival fell on June6 in 2011, June23 in 2012 and will fall on June12 in 2013.

The Duanwu Festival celebrates the ‘mid-summer’ inEast Asiawhere the day is the longest. The sun represents masculine energy and it is directly linked with the dragon which is also a symbol for masculine energy. Hence it is also popularly known as the Dragon Boat Festival. The festival is symbolic of energy and is marked by a number of activities. The most notable among them is the race of the Dragon boats which has become exceedingly popular with the locals as well as tourists alike.

If one visits Chinaon study abroad programs or gap year jobs during this period, he or she will be able to see the festivities in full swing. The dragon boat race is the most prominent form of celebration.

The dragon boat race is the most prominent form of celebration.

However there are two more signature festivities which mark the celebration. The first one involves relishing the delicious traditional “Zongzi” which is a form of rice pudding prepared especially for the occasion.

“Zongzi” which is a form of rice pudding prepared especially for the occasion

One also gets to consume a special kind of wine called “Xionghuangjiu” that is also a traditional drink.

People use perfumed medicine bags and take long walks, taking a break from their busy schedules and spending time with their loved ones. People also create effigies of Zhong Kui, who is a mythical guardian figure, which are hung on common wormwood and calamus. A belief associated with this day is that if someone sets up an egg stand at noon, he or she will have good luck throughout the following year. This is the perfect occasion for those on China tours or learning Chinese in China to blend with the local population and get a firsthand experience of their beautiful culture.

common wormwood and calamus hung on a door

One strange fact of this festival remains which is that no one knows its origin. The most reliable information merely indicates that it originated in ancientChina. There are many theories about the origin and the most accepted one suggests that the festival is celebrated to mark the death of poet Qu Yuan.

Qu Yuan (339 BCE – 278 BCE) was a great Chinese poet.