Bill DodsonCelebrity author Bill Dodson tells on his weblog how ‘naked marriages’, without lavish banquets, bells and whistles, are on the rise in China. Love is most that matters, despite parental pressures.
After I had delivered a book talk (about China Inside Out
) to about 60 members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai a young Chinese lady approached me and said, “I’m having a Naked Marriage”. She seemed confessional, as though she was committing some great sin in the eyes of the Almighty. I had been telling the group – which was eighty percent Westerners – about how the inflated values of everything from property through weddings and even wedding rings were blocking young Chinese couples from fulfilling social wishes for a grand send up to matrimony. “Naked weddings” saw couples basically living together, marriage certificate in hand and that’s about it: no property, no dowry, no wedding ring, no wedding banquet (gasp!). Half-naked weddings at least net the girl a wedding ring.
The young lady at the BritCham talk told me that both she and her lad were professionals working in Shanghai and that together they could not afford to buy a flat. She was from Wuhan, where her family still lived. Her parents didn’t like her suitor, who was from Harbin. He didn’t have any money, they said. Apparently, the young fellow’s parents didn’t much like her, either; I supposed they figured their son should be marrying into money there in Shanghai. She told her father she wanted to marry for love.
He told her, “You’re being unrealistic”.