Ababadri and his bride Guli, both belonging to the Uygur ethnic group, have been dreaming of a honeymoon tour to Beijing for a long time.
They never expected that their dream of climbing the Great Wall, visiting the Forbidden City and watching the rising of the national flag would come true at the very turn of the century, together with couples from 55 other ethnic groups across the country.
A wedding ceremony for couples from all 56 ethnic groups was held at the Great Hall of People while the century bell rang aloud.
Organizers of the wedding revealed that the wedding is the first of its kind to be held in China.
Ababadri and Guli, together with the other couples, counted down the coming of the new century, which began their wedding ceremony.
“I have longed for a trip to Beijing, but sharing wedding with brothers and sisters from other ethnic groups is beyond my wildest expectations,” Ababadri said.
Accompanied by the first sunlight of the new century, Pan Hongguang and his bride Chen Ping, both belonging to the Shui ethnic group, watched the first raising of the national flag in the new century.
“I’m really excited. From the raising of the flag I can feel the prosperity of our motherland,” Pan said. As an official in a town in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, Pan took this unexpected chance to learn more about economic development from brides and bridegrooms from the other ethnic groups.
“We will exert more effort to develop the local economy, so as to turn our poverty-stricken homeland into a land of abundance,” Pan noted.
On the first morning of the new century, brides and bridegrooms, who dressed in various traditional ethnic clothes, walked hand in hand into the wedding hall at the Great Hall of People.
State Councilor Ismail Amat and Ngapoi Nagwang Jigme, vice chairman of the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, served as chief witnesses at the wedding ceremony.
“This is not merely a single wedding ceremony, it is a grand party where people from all 56 ethnic groups met the new century,” commented Yang Chun, a university lecturer of Lahu ethnicity married a Bai girl named Zhao Fufen.
(People’s Daily 2001/010/02)