|Instead of renting a restaurant for an expensive wedding banquet, 26-year-olds Wang Shaowei and Zhang Xin tied the knot at a cost of nine yuan (US$1.40) spent on a marriage certificate.
|The couple, who just recently entered the work force, forwent nearly all the traditional prerequisites of a Chinese wedding: owning an apartment and a car, buying wedding rings and holding a pricy ceremony at a posh hotel.
|"We had a big dinner in our two-bedroom rented apartment to celebrate the start of our married life, and nothing else," said Wang, who lives with his wife in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province.
|In recent years, an increasing number of Chinese young people have chosen a "naked marriage."
|The term, coined in 2008 by Chinese bloggers, has drawn intense discussion since a popular TV series dubbed "Naked Marriage Era" brought the subject into the public spotlight and struck a chord with young Chinese, especially those born in the 1980s.
|The term refers to a couple who get hitched before acquiring a house and car and who spend little on their wedding ceremony. Some do so due in an effort to declare their independence, while others simply have no choice.
|"Naked marriage" marks a sharp department from China's established marriage customs, which encourage parents to help lay the material foundation for their children's marriage by helping them secure a house and car.
|According to a poll conducted by the social investigation center of the China Youth Daily prior to this year's Chinese Valentine's Day, Qixi Festival that fell on Saturday, nearly 48 percent of 3,214 respondents said they supported the idea of "naked marriages," while about 23 percent opposed it.
The vote also showed that about 55 percent of the respondents viewed courage as essential when engaging in a "naked marriage" and 43 percent of them agreed that married life of the couple who had a "naked marriage" would be much tougher than their peers with better financial status.
(China.org.cn August 8, 2011)