Hitched at the Hilton
|On the MTR|
|Christina was my translator|
We had a “run through” the week before, as I wanted to get the words right with Sean and Dee. After a few small changes, we agreed on what I was going to say at the ceremony. It was important to get this straight, as the words would all be translated into Mandarin.
|Red wine because red is lucky|
|Sean and Dee looked great!|
Although Irisha and I were the only laowai (foreigners) at this wedding, in many ways the whole service and reception was very "westernized" and more or less the same as a wedding in the UK or maybe America. The actual ceremony was in English, albeit with a translator.
|The Best Dog (and pretty bridesmaids)|
Another unusual feature of this wedding was the clear Christian content. As well as a big cross on the platform, there was Christian music all through the ceremony and the words of the marriage service explicitly mentioned Jesus Christ, the Church and the Bible. At a time when lots of churches in the UK have closed and their congregations are dwindling away, the churches in China are full and personal commitment to the Christian faith is rapidly spreading throughout China, especially among the professional classes. As well as the "official" government-sponsored churches, there are also innumerable "house churches". (In fact, a house church pastor was one of the wedding guests and he gave a little speech.)
Why is Christianity expanding in China? In the Middle Kingdom, there seems to be an ever-growing appetite for "western" things, whether that is Starbucks, western-style food, international travel or the English language. So it could be argued that the Christian faith is just another aspect of the "westernization" of China. Well, there might be some truth in that line of thinking, but it is not the whole story.