Monday, March 21, 2005

3 down, 1 to go

Last Sunday I attended Kate's sister's engagement ceremony. She is the youngest sister and since Kate's other sister is already married, Kate's brother remains as the only one without forseeable wedding plans.

In Taiwan engagement ceremonies typically have the groom-to-be (gtb) and his family arriving at the bride-to-be's (btb) home, along with family and friends from the btb's family. The gtb and his family's arrival is announced with large firecrackers (most likely to scare away evil spirits).

Unfortunately I missed out the beginning of the ceremony because Anna was still sleeping and it was my job to bring her over later. However, based on my own experience it probably played out something like this: the gtb and his family are seated and served special tea by an elderly, respected member from the btb's family. In this case it would be the eldest Aunt on her father's side. The btb is dressed in beautiful clothes and seated on a tall stool in front of everyone. Her feet rest on a shorter stool. Back straight, shoulders back, and wide smile.

Jewelry is given to the btb from the gtb and his family. This is followed by the offer of bridewealth to the btb's family and the "6 big gifts". These days most people politely refuse the bridewealth, though some still accept which is well within their rights. In addition, the gtb's family also needs to prepare the engagement cookies.

The event was an emotional moment for everyone, especially Kate's father as he is "losing a daughter". Although the thinking for young, modern Taiwanese has changed, for the older generation the daughter now "belongs" to another family. Among the many concerns for young btbs, a reasonable, easy to get along with mother-in-law ranks very high.

After pictures were taken, everyone went to the wedding hall for lunch.
To be coninuted...


Post a Comment

<< Home