Saturday, November 27, 2010

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The challenge in Chinese traditional wedding in HK


This blog is mainly focus on the challenge on Chinese traditional wedding in HK.

Chia Jun Kai 40029480
Law Lok Man 51854945
Fung Hin Fei 51538672


Table of content:

1- Why we choose this topic

2- Match Making

3- Betrothal  

4- Wedding

5- Reception

6- Conclusion

1- Why we choose this topic

Why we choose this topic?
That was because we found that wedding is a big event for human but also it was influenced by a lot of problems. Wedding is base on male and female, history telling us the treatment between male and female were not fair. The unfair atmospheres made a lot of marriages broken up or suffering the unhappiness marriage living. In actually, those histories can project on the Chinese traditional wedding. Do you know why Chinese traditional wedding is mainly for female? Why Chinese traditional wedding has a lot of rules and steps? And why the contemporary people would like to choose western styles more than the Chinese one? After doing this project we found out the meaning behind Chinese traditional wedding and would like to share with you.    

The background of past Hong Kong

Since the Second World War, Hong Kong became a Britain’s colony. Although Hong Kong is a part of China but its traditional culture was affected by western deeply. After the war, western was got developed very fast. Therefore, it requires a mass of manpower to cooperate its fast development. Due to Hong Kong had a lot of main land people who would gain the job for requiring lower salary. So, it attracted many western investors came to Hong Kong and running on their business and at the end it caused the Hong Kong’s economies grew very fast too.

The society system was been changed

Before the British government implemented the fair education policies (male and female can gain the 9 years free education), female were hardly to find a job and the most job they found was labor working. After the policies was been issued, more and more females could work base on their abilities and sought to another fields such as civil service which required lower labor working but more logistic organization. According to more and more females could found jobs and works, this changes were broke up the traditional concept that woman should just worked for the family.
Since the society system was been changed, female being independent and financial freedom but by the way the male just released a less change. The social status among male and female was been reversed and caused the Chinese traditional marriage might have been faced a huge reform. One is people prefer to find their partner in their general living rather than order by their parents.

Since the traditional Chinese concept influence females from when they are young to old. The concept “Meekness is the virtue” being the root in their mind. While people was living under modernization and influenced by different education, this concept was been changed. Female thought of making reflection of what they used to do and at the end they were escaped from the old traditional wedding’s grip.

 I found that Hong Kong's female was influenced by the Chinese traditional educational and the unfair atmosphere a lot. Although they are not willing ordered by their parents but they still endure until the western thought was spreading then this situation getting changed.

That may be one of the reasons why people would like to choose western wedding. That was because they want to escape the unhappiness memories and the western thought helped them in the past. Therefore, western wedding has a reclamation meaning in Chinese especially influenced the younger generation deeply.   


Have you though why do people getting marriage for? And which problems once was been discovered will have negative affect to discourage people getting marriage? Also, does the wedding cost will affect people to choose their wedding styles? At the end what do you think about the Chinese wedding business running on Hong Kong are more than western or vice versa?  

In actually, some news mentions that Chinese wedding expends more money than western wedding. It was because running Chinese traditional wedding being a special business that asking higher payment for maintaining. Also, a lot of the unnecessary goods consume in Chinese traditional wedding while western wedding just right and saying that in normally just use once in life.  

The real problem after wedding
I found that a lot of issue in recent year concerning about the baby abandon. How is the baby come? If the couple just toward fulfil their sensory enjoyment such as sex, then the baby would be a big problem for them. More and more couples affair to birth baby because they realize the duty is weightier than they thought. In 2000, an advertisement was showed on the T.V to descript how a baby will expends money and that’s saying approximate 4 million dollars for one. After this advertisement was published it was been banned by the government’s interference. It was because the birth rate was dramatically dropped to the lowest point since the couples were watched this advertisement. It sounds funny but in actually it really used to happen in Hong Kong.

What is the reason of Hong Kong couples affair births baby?

It was because the financial limitation rules the couple’s planning. Before the advertisement had published the couples were not realized baby would cost them such a huge financial problem. I mentioned this case because i want to go through this case to descript how it projecting the Hong Kong atmosphere. According to the economic growing faster and faster, Hong Kong resident felt their financial pressure were increasing gradually.

In 2008, the global economic crisis brought a huge damage on the traditional financial system. The Fed announced QE1 policies to impact to the whole financial system especially in Hong Kong such susceptible financial city. Due to the peg system with the States, the inflation was increasing approximately 7% in Hong Kong while the resident’s salary wasn’t growth. Many Hong Kong people found that have a baby will increase their financial pressure and that's why Hong Kong resident not willing to get marriage and birth baby.

Due to the financial problem, I think Hong Kong people would choose western wedding more than Chinese wedding.

2- Match Making



The Chinese traditional wedding is mainly for females.      
In actually, the Chinese traditional wedding is not mainly for males but rather for females. We can find the reason from the old traditional Chinese’s culture. In the past days, the virtue rules Chinese wife should belongs to their husband. Female hadn’t the rights to participate the society policies and properties distribution. Therefore, female would depend on their husband in anything. There are one Chinese word to descript these case” 「嫁雞隨雞,嫁狗隨狗,嫁著馬騮隨山走。」” it means where your husband go where you go. It sound so funny but in actually it is a real case which happen in the past. Due to those unfair treatments, the Chinese traditional wedding being a ceremony mainly service female.

By looking at the female’s wedding dressing“gua” we found that the cost to made a“gua” is much more than male’s dressing. Depends on the customer’s needs, to making a褂“gua” require six months to one year and six month but in opposite the male’s dressing just saying about half or one month. Furthermore, we can have a look on the wedding jewelry. The guan”, which, is for the head to dress up, the gold necklace, both are for females. On the other hand, there is just a little doodad for male.  

China's wedding industry is booming thanks to higher standards of living and 
new fashion trends that appeal to young couples. From luxurious gowns to 
wedding planners.

Luxury wedding boom in china
This news shows the wedding trends in mainland China. It seems western wedding would more attract to young couples.
Due to the Chinese traditional wedding has a tight format, the elaboration is weak and hardly to change. Because once it was been changed then it won’t as the original one anymore. Moreover, the Older won’t accept the newer format of Chinese wedding. But if the couple chooses western style then there are not only varied of formats they can choose but also design a newer one for them. I think it was because western styles are more open minding so it was easier accepted by the others.

The couple prefer western wedding
According to our survey’s data, we found that people would prefer the western wedding. I think that the western wedding would be more fairly for male and female. It is hard to say the wedding is for which side because that’s the same important. If I were bride, I would like to choose western wedding also. That’s not only the balance on the both side but also not as tight as the Chinese one.
Due to the Chinese traditional wedding has many rules and once skip one part among those rules then it is not good to the sign. Especially in the old China, It takes the couples feel much pressure and also as same as their parents.
Hainan is offering couples the chance to marry on board a luxury yacht as 
part of its plan to promote the tropical island as a yachting center.(File
It is a business for company offers couple luxury wedding.
In recent years, an atmosphere showing that people always think of substance. Most people would like to choose the benefit as their primary start thinking point. It was because they were always thinking of the substances to fulfill their desires.

Since people have been living under modernization and technologies, the relationship between each other was weak and depends on substances to maintain. In contemporary, more and more people toward independent thinking, it made people don’t willing to let their life depends on others and cause people prefer substance living rather than mental living.

If someone needs then someone would be give services. Some business men found that the luxury wedding requirement have increased since 2007. The more luxury wedding value not only shows how rich they are but also preserving the couple’s vanity. After doing the research, I found that these luxury weddings hold in Mainland China frequently and especially in the prosperous city such as Shang Hai and Beijing. The successful reason for running this business in China was because wedding is valuable in Chinese so people willing to pay to have a memorable period.

The sensory enjoyment becomes a goal as people’s desire.
When people living around full of substance then their significant of living toward a higher level, not only fulfils the human base requirement such as eat, go, live and wear but also their sensory enjoyment. The happiness within the short period interprets as lasting in most contemporary younger. They focus to gain happiness immediately but once they feel boring or unsatisfied then they will lose contact with other people. Thus, the substance philosophy was gripped the human relationship to be limitation.

That cause chinese men looking West
Some chinese male said that considers western more independent than their chinese counterparts, less girlish and more straightforward.

A survey finding that 80% of males approve "naked wedding", while 70% females don't.
Not buying house, no car, no wedding ceremony, no ring, etc only a red certificate of marriage, "that's what a "naked wedding" really means for young couples. Do you accept this kind of wedding?

I think that those reasons would made people choose western wedding rather than chinese.

2.1- Match Making - Difference

Choice of marriage partners was made not by the partners themselves, but made by their parents with the help of a marriage go-between. Hence in the past especially in villages, husbands and wives did not meet each other prior to the wedding day. Sometimes, when children are suitable for marriage, their parents will ask matchmaker to help them keep a look out for suitable candidates or the matchmaker themselves will go to those families that have children suitable for marriage, volunteering to matchmake for them. Usually once a marriage is successful, the matchmaker will be paid an angbao as a token of appreciation from both families. Matchmaker is usually a form of living for some individuals. The matchmaker will try to matchmake both families based on their family background and social position.

Matchmaking continues to exist but arranged marriage is now becoming extinct as people have the freedom to pursue their own love and marriage. Their parents will not ask matchmaker to look for suitable candidates.
Also, matchmakers today have evolved into a business concept. They are now operated as a form of agency whereby people interested to look for partners or rather want to enlarge their social circle; they pay some money to become members of the agency which will arrange them to go for some activities.
Due to low birth rate in Singapore, the Ministry of Community development, youth and sports has came up with a scheme known as dating treats! The Dating Treats! are offered by accredited dating agencies and subsidized by the Social Development Network (SDN)These are packages put together by all the dating agencies for singles to try out their services or events. Some of the packages are worth up to HKD$2500 but now are offered to all singles at just HKD$250
Background information for SDN: Social Development Unit was formed in 1984 to promote marriages among graduate singles while Social Development Services (SDS) was set up in 1985 to promote marriages among non-graduate singles. The 2 units were merged on 28 January 2009 to reap economies of scale, enlarge the outreach and provide more opportunities for singles to meet. The unit was renamed Social Development Network(SDN)  to forge an extensive network of singles, resources and partners and to create an environment conducive for singles to meet and forge meaningful relationships.

2.2- Match Making - Reason

Reasons for the change:
The society has opened up unlike in the past. Woman has become educated and the chances to opposite sex increases after the May 4th movement. Unlike in the past, whereby women are not allowed to go to school or only the single sex school available ,their contact with the outside world or rather with the opposite sexes is kept to minimum. However, it is not the case now. There are many mixed sex school and people are more keen to pursue their own happiness.
Matchmaking agency has also becoming a business concept. Instead of just fully focusing on looking for marriage partners, the agency today has become a place to widen social circle. Modernization have lead to people are becoming busier with their work and have lesser time to know more friends. Hence, matchmaking agencies played the role of widening their social circle, introducing friends to them.
Although modernization has lead to the opening up of society and empowers the girls to search for their own happiness, they spend more time in studies and their careers compared with their peers in the past. As a result, it has caused them to marry at a later age which means difficulty to have child. It was a common sight to see women and men marrying at an older age compared with the time of their parents.   
Low birth rate is a major concern for many countries especially to country without any natural resources like Singapore. Hence, human resources are very important to sustain development. Therefore, instead of parents more anxious for their children’s marriage, the country is more anxious than the parents. They hope that singles can find their own happiness and married and give birth. This is to increase the population in Singapore for sustainability.

3- Betrothal


3.1- Betrothal - Proceduce


Betrothal is a complicated procedure which consists of several steps. The steps are called “three letters and six etiquettes”. Firstly, the grooms’ families hire matchmaker to communicate with the proposed brides’ families to ask whether they are interested in the proposal. After receiving the acceptance of brides’ families, the grooms’ families have betrothal negotiation with the brides’ families on the bridal price and gifts. The matchmaker played an important role in the negotiation since two families did not have direct contact. The matchmaker helps the grooms’ families to as for the 'Eight Letters' of brides. Among the 22 letters, ten are known as 'Tian Gan' and twelve are 'Di Zhi'. Year, month, day and time are represented by 2 letters. Finally, the bride's birth date would be represented by 8 letters. Then, a guy is hired to see if the proposed grooms and brides match or not. Then, the grooms’ families send an initial gift with a gift letter to the brides’ families. Next, the grooms’ families send the betrothal gifts to the brides’ families and they choose the wedding date. Also, they worship the ancestral to confirm the deal. Afterward, a guy is hired to choose a good date according to the bride and groom's and their family's birthdates for holding the wedding. The brides’ and grooms’ families send invitation cards to their relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends. The people who receive invitation cards have to give money or gifts as congratulation.  


Two families hold a meeting, normally in restaurants to negotiate the betrothal price and gifts. Some families hire a guy to choose the good date for holding wedding while some couples choose the date which they want. Then, the grooms’ families send betrothal gifts to the brides’ families. The brides’ and grooms’ families send invitation cards to their relatives, neighbours, colleagues and friends. The people who receive invitation cards have to give money or gifts as congratulation.