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Chinese Traditional and Contemporary Marital Customs

             Marriage and families founded through marriage constitute the basic cells of the society. It involves a multi-layer relationship between neighbors and other elements in the community, and it is so regarded by the Chinese as the top issue of the morality of human kind. Wedding ceremony is the ritual conducted when the couple decides to establish a marital relationship and through which they can win over the approval, recognition and protection of the community. The procedure of the wedding ceremony actually reflects the various social and cultural notions. .
             The wedding customs in ancient China includes the whole procedure of rituals from the negotiation, engagement to wedding ceremony. Every step, every action and even every piece of utensil used in the whole work of wedding ceremony in which the families involved attach great importance to are so closely related to social customs, economic development and cultural evolution of the country. Therefore the ritual itself conveys specific historical significance.
             China has undergone some dramatic changes in the economy, society, culture and ways of life in the past century and so has the perception of wedding ceremony by contemporary Chinese compared to their ancestors. As a result, the contemporary Chinese emphasize more on the outcome of relationship-seeking than that process of seeking it. By taking the procedure of negotiation, engagement to wedding rituals only as transitional and ceremonial actions, they regard the wedding banquet as the core of the whole ceremony. However, it does not really mean the power of tradition contained in the old folk customs has faded away along with the change of ceremonial forms, some of the traditional rituals and folk customs have been preserved up till now. With this exhibition, our intention is to showcase the wedding customs of contemporary China, explore the old elements from modern wedding rituals and through these , eventually exhibit to our dear audiences the change and inheritance of this ancient cultural heritage of China.

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