My First Chinese Wedding

I promised I would blog about this. And so blog about this, I will.

Forgive me for the elementary level title. Alternatives? Yum Seng, Maybe? No? Okay, "My First Chinese Wedding" it is then.

Last March, I went to my first Chinese wedding. My supervisor at the time was finally getting hitched! I'm so happy we were invited to celebrate with him and his wife on their big day.

I had no idea what to expect. Well, we were invited for the reception, so I assumed there would be lots of food. And so there was lots of food. Several courses. The party ended when you finished them all. Or did you finish them all when the party ended? At any case, our bellies were full by the end of the night.

Some differences from the Filipino weddings I have attended:

1. The Same-Day Video Edit. It started off sentimentally enough - the groom putting on his tux. The bride and her breathtaking gown. But fast forward to what I later found out was called "The Wedding Gate Crash" - I think my mouth was hanging open throughout the "fun and games" portion. For the Chinese, the groom has to go to the bride's house and perform tasks (Amazing Race/Fear Factor-type things) before he could finally see the bride. For Filipinos, old fashioned folks have what we call as panliligaw (courtship - fetching buckets of water from the well during the olden days, etc) but this happens ages before the wedding day. Well, no wonder I saw the groom tagged in a post with the words "let the games begin..." - Games preluded his and the bride's exchange of vows!

2. Exchange of Vows. Guess what? The exchange of vows happens when the guy passes all the tests and manages to get inside the girl's bedchambers. So different from our usual church or civil weddings!

3. Tea Ceremony with Parents. This is the part that made us go teary-eyed. The SDVE showed a portion where the newlyweds poured tea into their parents' cups and drank with them. The honor shown and represented there made even the guy at our table tear up. We don't have that in Filipino weddings. We do have speeches during the reception. And mano pos during the ceremony. And, of course, traditionally, the father (or sometimes both parents) gives the bride away.

4. Yum Seng and Alcohol Galore. Back to the reception. Aside from overflowing food, they also had alcohol galore. You just raise your hand and someone will bring you beer, wine, or gin. I had water. And coke. But I couldn't escape the spirits during Yum Seng - the toast with the bride and groom. So apparently, instead of going around each table to take photos with the guests, for the Chinese, they go around each table to share a toast coupled by loud exclamations of "Yum Seng" - which Google tells me means "drink to success" or "cheers". So fun, right? Good luck to the designated drivers.

Those were a couple of things I noticed. No bouquet and garter toss. No releasing of doves. No throwing of rice. But lots of fun, fun, fun.

I wouldn't mind going to a Chinese wedding again, next time.

Xie Xie, Pete, for the invite. Yum seng!!!!

Our table.
We took a picture so that I could post it in my blog. Lol.

An Epilogue of Sorts

And so ends our storytelling for The Adventure - Part 1 and The Adventure - Part 2. If I have the time, I might - just might - compile the stories into a mini memoir (a memoirette?).

I had fun chronicling those adventures. It's nice to look back and know that my time in Malaysia was well spent. I lived. I loved. I learned so many things. If I had to go back to my country in one week's time, I will have no regrets because I know I already gave my 100% and perhaps even more. Though I do have several things left to tick off my Malaysian Bucket List. Aiks.

So what happens next? For me and for this blog? Well, for this blog, I've got several posts for Oh Best Beloved lined up. I want to write about our treasure hunt in Penang, my solo Jogjakarta trip, going to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, walking into fairy tale and movie land in Singapore... I think I'll even write about my being a tourist in my hometown. And I promised to write about Peter's wedding. I think that's going to be my next entry.

As for me, life has taken a different turn this season. You may have noticed I've been writing less and less. And no, Once Upon a Time doesn't have anything to do with it this time. In four words, the whole "It's-getting-harder-to-find-time-to-write" has got something to do with Transition and New Responsibilities. But writing is my first love. I will find time to do this, no matter what.

So thanks for tuning into "The Adventure, So Far". Drop by again next time for a cup of teh tarik while I tell you more stories from these distant shores. :)

Until the next post!