Although weddings remain quite a big portion of Chinese culture, it’s changed dramatically across the last decades. In the old days, marriages and weddings were worked out by families, following rules outlined by ancient traditions. According to some popular Chinese legend, couples destined to marry were thought to have invisible red strings, connecting them, tied around their ankles when they’re small children. As they become older the strings gets shorter and shorter until the time is right for them to finally meet. Ancient Chinese people believed that nothing could severe the strings. Not even distance, changing circumstances or love. To them, marriage was regarded as destiny.

During the Communist era, the wedding ceremony details were often worked out by neighborhood councils and governmental units. Couples were often required to get permission from their employers before they could marry. Later in the 1950s new laws banned the majority of the practices related to traditional marriages: multiple wives, child marriages, the sale of sons or daughters for marriage purposes, arranged marriages, minor marriage, bride-price, and concubinage. It was also during this time, that females received the right to divorce. Monogamy was strictly enforced. Adulterers were often handled harshly. In present day China, families have regained their control over the marriage situation, and in 2003 some rules were eased and laws were passed, which prevented couples from depending on their employers to get married. Take a look at this article about pretty Chinese girls.
Previously, marriage was seen as a family concern. Families united by marriage were required to be of equivalent financial status, or the groom’s family to be of somewhat higher status. This aspect of marriage patterns has continued while the definitions of status have changed. Because inherited wealth has been eliminated as a significant factor, evaluation has shifted to estimates of earning power and future prosperity. Probably the most desirable husbands are actually administrative cadres, party members, and employees of big state enterprises. In the other hand, men from poor villages have experienced difficulty finding wives.

Many traditional ideas toward the family unit have survived without getting reviewed. In China, it’s expected that everybody should marry, and marriage remains portion of the concept of normal adult status. Although this is slowly changing, marriage remains somewhat required to be permanent. The tradition that marriage requires a woman to relocate into her husband’s family and to become a daughter-in-law as well as a wife is still largely accepted. The norm of patriarchal descent along with the assumption that it is the son who bears the primary responsibility for his aged parents remain. The Chinese government has devoted great effort to controlling the number of births and have tried to limit the number of children per couple. Interesting enough, the authorities haven’t ever tried to control population growth by suggesting that some people should not marry at all.

For Westerners, marriage choices are typically based on individual notions of love or romance, or at least that is definitely the way we visualize it. However in much of China, marriage is, above all, about family and community. It wasn’ t until very recently that love actually plays a role in marriages in China. Asians as a whole have traditionally regarded marriages as a bonding of families as opposed to individuals. People are not seen as individual children of God but instead as persons in a family.

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