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ORIENTAL DAILY NEWS

Through Thick And Skin: In China, Rebellious Couples Say 'I Do' To Naked Weddings

A naked wedding in Hangzhou on April 24
A naked wedding in Hangzhou on April 24

Twenty young couples in southeastern Hangzhou recently decided to get hitched without a stitch, wearing only leaves and flowers in rejection of the materialistic concerns frequently associated with marriage in China, Hong-Kong-based Oriental DailyNews reports.

This was the second year that the Songcheng Anthomaniac Festival organized such a collective wedding ceremony in Hangzhou. Couples braved chilly temperatures and rain as they marched through a corridor of artificial green leaves to pronounce their vows.

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Who cares about rings anyway? — Photo: SIPA Asia/ZUMA Wire

The term luohun, which translates to "naked marriage" in English, popped up in the last decade in the country as a number of young couples spurned the idea that a man is qualified to propose only if he already owns an apartment and a car — a notion promoted by many Chinese parents.

In a "naked wedding," the bride and groom typically don't bother with rings, let alone with the traditionally lavish banquet that usually goes with Chinese weddings.

The pressure on Chinese men to find a bride is intense, and complicated by a lack of potential partners due to the country's former one-child policy and the resulting widespread selective abortion of female fetuses. Unless a man is gao-fu-shuai, — that is, tall, rich and handsome — getting hitched is no piece of wedding cake.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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