China Clamps Down On ‘Extravagant And Wasteful’ Weddings For Morality Sakes

China is putting an end to the country’s increasingly extravagant wedding culture, saying it goes against “socialist core values” and reflects “declining morality.”

Chinese weddings have featured elaborate rituals and traditions for thousands of years but officials say modern ceremonies have gotten out of control, with competition between couples prompting ever-more lavish celebrations, expensive gifts and extreme rituals for “hazing” the bride and groom.

The tradition of hazing originally seen a s a way to drive away evil spirits has grown particularly extreme in recent years, with grooms, brides and bridesmaids subjected to sometimes violent pranks.

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In November, a man in southern China was hospitalized after he was hit by a car as he tried to escape from his friends’ hazing ritual. He was reported to have been tied to an electric pole and beaten with a strip of bamboo.

Families in rural areas have also been setting massive “bride prices” – sums of money given to a bride’s family by the groom’s parents. In Hubei province, local officials have already intervened after bride prices reached almost $30,000 – around ten times the average yearly wage in the area.

After a National conference on Friday in Jinan, Eastern China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said it wanted to create a “simple and appropriate marriage etiquette” that advocates “diligence and thrift, and opposes extravagance and waste.”

The ministry added:

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“We must integrate socialist core values into the construction of marriage and family so that marriage customs can better reflect the country’s values.”

Ministry official, Yang Zongtao said in an interview on state TV on Sunday that the government would “set guidelines on the process of weddings and the amount of cash gifts.”

One county – Taiqian in Henan province – has already imposed restrictions on wedding celebrations. In 2017, officials limited the number of guests to 200 people and banned the giving of cars and homes as wedding gifts.

This is not the 1st time Chinese authorities have stepped in to call for changes in citizens’ social behavior. Earlier this year, the government of southeastern Jiangxi province imposed a “zero-burial” policy saying, funerals must be “cremation-only” in order to save space in crowded graveyards.

CREDIT: Timeonline

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