City in Zhe­jiang says peo­ple should spend less on wed­dings

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

HANGZHOU — A re­cent pro­posal to bring down the cost of wed­dings in Tongx­i­ang, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, has be­come a talk­ing point on the in­ter­net.

The pro­posal called for new­ly­weds to re­strict the cost of wed­ding ban­quets to no more than 1,500 yuan ($220) per ta­ble, each of which can usu­ally ac­com­mo­date 10 guests.

The pro­posal also seeks to end long mo­tor­cades, ex­pen­sive gifts and large gifts of money.

Wildly ex­pen­sive wed­ding cer­e­monies are still com­mon in some parts of China, where many be­lieve the big­ger the ban­quet, the hap­pier the mar­riage.

Chen Liang, 26, had such a wed­ding. Though he has a monthly salary of only 4,000 yuan, his wed­ding cost the fam­ily over 470,000 yuan. Al­most half the money was bor­rowed.

His story is com­mon. The rea­son to spend tens of thou­sands of yuan on a wed­ding some­times is sur­pris­ingly sim­ple — to save face.

Chen Miaolin, chair­man of New Cen­tury Tourism Group, told Xin­hua News Agency that his ho­tels tried to in­tro­duce a wed­ding meal that con­sisted of six dishes and one soup per ta­ble, but the cus­tomers in­sisted on 12 dishes and one soup.

“About one-third of the food usu­ally ends up wasted,” Chen said.

The pro­posal in Tongx­i­ang also called on young cou­ples to avoid “out­dated” wed­ding pro­ce­dures, such as games to tease the groom or brides­maids, as well as drink­ing games.

It sug­gested gift money

Such cer­e­monies ... have be­come huge bur­dens for rel­a­tives and friends and should be changed.

from rel­a­tives and friends should not ex­ceed 600 yuan, and the red Chi­nese char­ac­ter xi, sig­ni­fy­ing hap­pi­ness, should be pasted only in the cou­ple’s own house and yard.

The move was mostly wel­comed on­line.

In­ter­net user Cao Yong­ping wrote that the erad­i­ca­tion of old, rigid ideas in wed­ding and fu­neral cer­e­monies needs the par­tic­i­pa­tion of every­one. An­other user, Chen Feng, sug­gested hold­ing cer­e­monies in vil­lage cul­tural halls to save money.

Other voices ques­tioned the ef­fec­tive­ness of the pro­posal and said some of the reg­u­la­tions were too de­tailed and rigid.

An of­fi­cial at a lo­cal ethics en­hance­ment com­mit­tee of­fice told Xin­hua that the pro­posal was meant to re­lieve the heavy fi­nan­cial pres­sure brought by wed­ding and fu­neral cer­e­monies.

“Such cer­e­monies were meant to main­tain close re­la­tion­ships within a fam­ily but have be­come huge bur­dens for rel­a­tives and friends and should be changed,” the of­fi­cial said.

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