Today I have been invited to a wedding here in Shanghai. This will be my first time at a wedding in China. A member of the faculty in the College of Finance at Shanghai Normal University is getting married so there is an entire bus load of people traveling together to the wedding. The bus is loaded by 10 am to begin our journey to the wedding. It requires an hour to drive to the hotel where the wedding is taking place. We arrive and proceed up the grand staircase to the restaurant banquet room . . . we are greeted by the groom and bride at the door. She is stunning in a white wedding gown that has delicate beadwork and detailed stitching. There are photos with the guests and I am made to feel most welcome. Peter escorts me to my table . . . it is not long before the program begins. I will prepare a slide show for the photos and video that I took. Let me say that the bride was beautiful but had little time to sit down for the meal. After she was brought into the room by her father, she is given to the groom. There is a ceremony and speeches exchanged before the bride and groom exchange vows and rings. The bride changes clothes into a beautiful blue dress and then again into a magnificient red dress. The meal was unbelievable! The table was overflowing with food and still more food arrived. I tried everything . . . even turtle, sea cucumber, and several dishes that I did not know their names. I will try to prepare a lesson on the Chinese wedding traditions. All in all the food was outstanding . . . I will not need to eat for the rest of the day. I loved the lobster, shrimp, fish, numerous vegetables, and even the liver. The seafood soup was delicious. One of my favorites was the steamed buns . . . I love the broth inside. By the time they served the last two main courses, I was so full. No one touched the whole chicken or duck. Later I learned that this was tradition. When they served the fresh fruit and wedding cake I was not really tempted by the cake at all. I tasted it using my chopsticks . . . chopsticks really make it hard to eat cake. So maybe in the future I should take chopsticks to all family birthdays and then I will not eat any cake or ice cream. After the meal the bride and groom visited each table to thank their guests for coming. It soon became a fun series of challenges for the bride and groom. I held a small fruit on a string from a single chopstick. The bride and groom had to catch it between them and share the fruit. It was so much fun. Time flew by and soon it was 2 pm and time to return to campus. Now I am so weary, I must struggle to stay awake a little longer. May the bride and groom enjoy many happy years together and be blessed with a happy and healthy child.
Dr. Linda Ralston (alias UTourDoctor) teaches at the University of Utah in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Check out my other blogs: