Why Your Chinese Family Wants You to Have a Wedding Banquet (Even if You Don't) | Speaking of China

10 Responses

  1. Fred
    Fred August 8, 2017 at 6:19 am | | Reply

    Wow! It sounded as though you had to endure a lot. I am glad that you had the wedding though to give your in-laws “face” and respect. You are now learning how to be a good Chinese wife. Congrats.

    1. Autumn
      Autumn August 8, 2017 at 6:27 am | | Reply

      It’s a very, very hard line to toe — making your in-laws happy and not making yourself a resentful martyr.

      But I’m with you on the tofu and a book.

    2. Autumn
      Autumn August 8, 2017 at 6:30 am | | Reply

      Oh, no, Fred. No. You did not just patronizingly tell Jocelyn she’s becoming a “good Chinese wife!”

      Those are fighting words. Or maybe just fraught. See Susan Blumberg-Kason’s book and bite your tongue.

  2. Marta
    Marta August 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm | | Reply

    I was very lucky then that my parents in law didn’t do anything at my wedding haha. I chose the place and the food (which included several vegetarian options because I had a vegetarian friend attending). The food was different from the usual fare and the banquet was outdoors so I didn’t mind people smoking (although at first I thought about not putting cigarettes on the tables too but my husband insisted on that). I can proudly say my wedding was different from all the other Chinese weddings I’ve been to and everybody liked it!

  3. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen August 10, 2017 at 8:42 am | | Reply

    Bali is my favorite vacation place in the world. A friend and I vacationed there in the early ’70s when tourism was just getting started.

    We attended quite a few Chinese wedding banquets in the Philippines. They were always large and expensive. I remember eating pigeon a couple of times. One of Eugene’s Chinese friends was single, so I asked him why J never got married. He said the J’s father gambled away the family’s entire fortune, so J couldn’t afford to get married. J wasn’t very outgoing, so I suspect that had something to do with it too, but Eugene’s words did point to the importance for Chinese of a big, expensive wedding.

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