Shan & Kai got married (and Amelia is 2)
Well strictly speaking they got married about 4 weeks ago when their marriage was registered so today was the traditional marking of their wedding.
We were up at 5 and ready to go to the house where the bride and sisters (and my lot) were staying by 6.05. Unfortunately the bus was late again but we were still there for 6.30.
Then there was a lot of waiting around until breakfast, sticky rice "wraps' arrived but of course this left lots of time for the photos, all combinations of families including all the bride's family.
It was similar but different to what happened when Wen Hui and Gordon had their wedding banquet in 2013. We had the traditional gatecrashing games when the groom and his supporters have to overcome challenges to claim the bride. And normally there would be ceremonies at both the bride and groom's houses but of course we didn't have a groom house only being me and the 2 brothers there.
Today there were no gatecrashing games, something to do with time so Kai and his friends just arrived and we had the tea ceremony. First the bride and groom serve tea to their elders and receive ang pow and gifts in return, traditionally gold jewellery for the bride. Then the younger members of the family serve tea to the couple and are given ang pow. At the end the couple exchanged wedding rings.
The plan was to go to Kai's home and observe the tea ceremony there. Their home is out in the country outside Pingtung, a big property surrounded by fish ponds and about a 25 minute drive. However, when we arrived the tour guide wouldn't let us get off the bus as he said it was against tradition and bad Feng Shui for the bride's family to go to the groom's house after the wedding. Eventually the compromise was we were allowed to wait in the garden area ready for the after party and Kai's family brought across all the refreshments they had prepared for us but we did join them in the house garden for whole group photos. As an 'elder' I kept being given a stool at the front for many of the photos. Now that's a be very experience.
Then to the banquet venue. It was due to start at the auspicious time of 12.36 but we were there about an hour earlier. There is no reception so we looked at the pre wedding photos and sat at our table. The tradition is for couples to wear wedding clothes and have a photoshoot done before the wedding so they can be displayed in this case on a loop displayed on large screens round the room and the room is huge, over 200 people, friends and business contacts. And throughout the whole meal, 13 dishes, a trio played and sang.
There were speeches from the stage at the start and half way through, baby shark by the groom's friends and the girls after a few courses, by which time the couple had changed dress and Shan also sang. When all the food has been served just after 3 everyone gets up and goes. No hanging around.
We went back to the hotel for a rest before going back for the after party at 6. Unfortunately it has been raining heavily so the field was a quagmire. We stayed for a couple of hours and sang 'Happy Birthday' to Amelia (2 today) (Shan shares a birthday with Olivia). But before we could eat cake the rain came on again so we left and we back just after 9. I went to bed!