A 'Naked Wedding': Rethinking requirements

By Gabrielle Pickard
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 19, 2011
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A stage photo of "Naked Wedding" 

The popular Chinese television drama "Naked Wedding" explores the increasing tendency for young people in China to get married without a proper wedding ceremony and major financial investments in a house or car. The program has ignited intense debate about the sensibility for a couple to enter married life without adequate financial security.

Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2010, times have been hard for everyone, particularly young people. As China's economy recovers, employers are competing to employ low-skilled workers, while many young, bright university graduates are suffering from a long stretch of unemployment.

Historically, Chinese women have regarded housing as an important symbolic guarantee from their spouses. In the past, few women would agree to marry a man who does not own an apartment or have considerable savings, and few parents would support such a marriage. However, for many young couples, the costs of a diamond engagement ring, lavish wedding ceremony, securing a mortgage for their first house, and even buying a car are nearly impossible. Love, not financial stability, is the main driving force holding these couples together.

The UK Office for National Statistics reported that Britain's marriage rate in 2010 was the lowest in a non-war year since records began in 1862. In order to rebuild matrimonial institutions, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to give tax breaks to married couples. The government's policy prompted fresh debate about why fewer couples are getting married.

Anastasia de Waal of Civitas, a UK-based independent think-tank, says a lack of monetary security is the primary reason couples put off marriage. "Young people want certain things in place before they marry: the top three being a partner to whom they want to commit, financial security and home ownership," de Waal said.

Young lovers who are brave enough to marry for the commitment of sharing the rest of their lives with each other, regardless of financial guarantees, are, in my eyes, the heroes of the modern climate.

My two best friends, without having much money, owning property, or having rich parents to turn to, recently got married in a registry office before attending the Glastonbury Festival. The wedding was a small, unpretentious, inexpensive yet extremely happy affair. Since then, the family has had a string of good fortune that has led to their dream of home ownership as well as happy, healthy children. For me, it was proof that love can prevail over money and a couple can determine their own future regardless of the gloomy financial climate.

Surely what constitutes the basis of good, solid marriage is love. Marriage offers couples increased moral support in hard economic times and helps reduce the growing amount of children born out of wedlock. With the number of new marriages hitting an all-time low, we should embrace 'naked weddings' and view them as an effort to renew this sacred institution.

The author is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit: http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/node_7077604.htm

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn


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