How does a beautiful tradition warp into an obscene and violent practice?
Weddings are supposed to be the happiest day of a person’s life. It is a celebration of love and union with the added fun of lavish decorations, delicious food and activities bound to make the day as memorable as it should be. Though love is always at the core, weddings are celebrated differently throughout many cultures and countries. Our East Asian friend, China, is a perfect example of this.
Chinese weddings are known to be very intimate and sacred. I mean, even ghosts in China can get married. That’s how loving it can get. Though the marriage itself is emotional, the wedding reception is almost always an extravagant affair. Most weddings display red and gold themes which are important colors in China. Red symbolizes success, prosperity, love and honor while gold symbolizes wealth. And trust me, Chinese weddings are a playground of love and wealth.
Traditions grow over time and people reclaim and adopt new customs. Chinese brides now opt to don white wedding dresses, a practice that had been strictly forbidden for centuries due to white being considered a color for death. Though traditions sometimes change for the better, they may also change for the worse.
How Far Will One Go For Love?
Chinese receptions are all fun and games (literally) until the pranks begin. Naohun, directly translating to ‘wedding turbulence’, is a traditional practice that has been around in Chinese culture since the Han Dynasty. It is a series of hazing exercises for the bride and groom conducted by the family members and close peers of the couple. The practices are said to be significant as they signify the lengths that the bride and groom must go through in order to be together.
The pranks differ from male to female. The bridesmaids announce escapades to the groom and his entourage in order to have access to his bride. Some rituals include finding M&Ms in a bowl of flour with your mouth, waxing hair off of somebody parts and eating wasabi on toast. Yum.
Though some activities are harmless and annoying at best, what happens when the tables are turned? What do women have to face at the hands of these ‘pranks’? And is it a prank when it entails the sexualization and the forceful handling of a woman’s body?