This note from Gar recently landed in the QINGDAO(nese) inbox. It’s a recap of his experiences and insights at a wedding in a Chinese village near Huangdao Development Zone (also called Kaifaqu), a part of Qingdao. Be sure to check out the photos below for a glimpse of a wedding in a local village. Thanks to the families for their kind permission to show them here.

Acquaintances, Friends, and Assorted Miscellany,

Here is a series of pix from a recent wedding in “my” village. I was recruited as a photographer. I’ve been in this village for 4 years now (!!), a startling reality.

I always have been taken aback at the outward friendliness of the villagers. In the city, it’s easy to find people who will spoil a sunny day. Not here. In fact, to learn about that phenomenon was a main reason for me to move out here and really rough it. (“How can they be so outwardly happy and friendly all the time, when they have nothing?! I want to learn how.”) For instance, materially speaking, their meager lives might compare to the inner-city disadvantaged. Yet somehow, these peasants manage to beam, or “shine” a kind of friendliness, whereas developed-nation folks at a similar level of material attainment often do not.

It’s a large question.

Anyways, I had a major epiphany at this wedding. Having everyone in one place…. and it being a wedding and all……. I came to find out that the village…..is really one big family. The village is composed essentially of a few huge families. So all of these people who I knew individually are literally brothers and sisters and cousins—- old-style Chinese families with 8 brothers, each the head of a household. It gave me a greater sense of how China really is a big family web.

Anyways, in these pix, you can see:

-On wedding day, they bring in housewarming gifts, just like we do, including more bedding material than anyone could ever use. Make no mistake: a Chinese person, in order to be a “correct Chinese”, MUST get married young and immediately have children. In fact, once the new bedding is taken into the couple’s new bedroom, the couple sits on the bed together with everyone around, and they have things they do…. the bride feeds the groom, etc. But the message is clear: time for the next generation!

Just thought I’d pass it along. Be well everyone!!
-gar

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