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A Drunkard's Life---4.1

Viewed 1918 times 2019-1-7 22:03 |System category:Life| Life

How time flew, few years have gone since the day he came back to the village. And he finally turned to be a grown-up man.

In general, people would like to get married at a age around 20 at that time, as it came to the time that they were strong enough to form a new family and take the responsibility to raise a new generation and take care of the elderly.

Kim started to served in the military at a age of 18, and he spent three years there. What’s more, another three years had been gone since he left the military. So it had been the right time for him to get married and have his own family.

In China, marriage was one of the most important issues that should be completed in order to live a fulfilled life. As it was always said in ancient China, there were four happy things in one’s whole life. They were getting married, being enrolled in a university,encountering old friends out of hometown and raining after a long drought. And getting married was ranked at the first place as the most important life mission..

Once upon a time, marriage was not someone’s own business. In fact, a marriage was not only a big business for a couple to get married, but also an important move for their families,especially for the a man’s family, as he would need to keep his family passing on generation by generation. Sometimes, the purpose of a marriage was a business between two rich families rather than the love of the couple getting married. It was a Chinese tradition with long history in China that boys and girls had to follow their parents’ order to make the decision with whom they could get married. In other words, their parents decided who they were going to marry. So matchmaker, who acted as an intermediary between the boys and girls, helping them to know each other, and finally get married, used to be one of the hottest professions in ancient China. Even in the modern society, matchmakers are still popular around China.

In the middle of 20th century, seldom people could go outside and made opposite sex friends by themselves. Especially in rural and remote areas, people were still conservative and feudal. Not only the parents would not allow their boys or girls to go outside and made friends with someone they didn’t know, but also the boys and girls sometimes were too shy to make new friends. In that case, the matchmaker played an important role. When the matchmaker wanted to match a boy and a girl, she would go to talk to their parents, once their parents agreed. The boy and the girl would get married. Of course, the matchmaker was paid very well.

So for some people, not until the wedding day, did they know about who they were going to marry. In other occasions, if they were lucky, they would have a chance to meet each other for few times before they got married. While there were so many people who had never seen the one he/she was going to get married before the day they got married. They could only meet each other at the time the bridegroom unveiled the red fabric covered on the bride’s head. And the day they got married became the first time they met each other.  

Marriage must be done under parents’ order and matchmaker’s introduction was an old Chinese tradition that has existed for thousands of years in China.

But with the development of the society, many changes had taken place. Many rules and traditions were changing. In late 20th century, with the reform and opening-up policy was effective in China and the rapid economic development, the transportation became more and more convenient, which enabled people to go anywhere they wanted and make friends as they liked. People could enjoy more freedoms to travel around and make his own decisions on more and more things. If they found some one they liked, they could ask him/her out and start dating as friends for a while,which provide them many chances to know about each other. They could also try to live together and see whether they could get along with each other before making the decision to get married. After that, if they thought they loved each other, and would like to live together in the coming future. They would finally make up their mind to get married. If not, they would just break up and look for someone else. At that time, marriage seemed not to be their parents’ choice,instead, the boys and girls made their choices themselves. Marriage freedom turned to be something widely accepted. More and more parents were letting their children make their choices.

But a matchmaker would still do great help to many people’s marriage, especially in poor rural areas where the boys and girls didn’t have so many chances to go out their village and look for a partner themselves.  

The matchmakers were always eloquent, since their work was to convince the boy and the girl, as well as the boy’s and girl’s parents. Meanwhile, they also needed to do some research. First of all, they would collect information about single boys and girls as much as possible,before they started to do matching. Then, they would analyze the information they got, covering many aspects of the boy’s and the girl’s life, such as their family statue quo, cultural background, personality, and so on. Because this could help them to fulfill their job much easier. Once the preparation was done, they would start to do introduction. Sometimes, they would go to the boys or girls directly. It was no surprise that the boys or the girls who were at the age for marriage would also ask them for help. She, one thing to make clear that a great proportion of matchmakers were women, would go to tell the boy all the information of the girl, or vice versa, so that the boy would know what kind girl he was going to meet. Generally, the matchmaker would have one or two candidates,even more. If the first one was not accepted, she would introduce another one. Once the boy agreed to meet, they would do the right trick to the girls, and asked them to meet the boy. Sometimes, in order to provide the boys and girls a chance, they would present the good things of the boy or the girl, and hid something bad.

So when it came to the right time for Kim to look for someone to marry, he hoped someone could help him. There was an experienced matchmaker living in another village nearby, who had successfully matched many couples before. When she heard that Kim was looking for a chance to find a partner. She was willing to help. (To be continued...)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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